Throughout his career, it’s become clear that Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the history of the NBA. Even as the Brooklyn Nets have labored through a tumultuous start to the 2022-23 season, Durant has continued to play at an extremely high level and has managed to keep the Nets afloat despite all their chaos. Durant is already an all-time great, which is fascinating because his legacy is still being written.
Durant’s all-time small-forward list has a shocking inclusion
Durant is one of the top players in the history of the NBA, and he also profiles as one of the top players to play at the small forward position. The NBA has largely become a positionless game in the modern era, as a guy like Durant can play as a power forward or shooting guard as well, but the small forward spot has always been his home.
There’s no denying Durant’s greatness, and while he still is achieving new feats each time he takes the court, it’s hard to deny that he doesn’t have a spot on the NBA’s all-time Mount Rushmore of small forwards. When asked for his Mount Rushmore of small forwards throughout the history of the NBA, Durant picked himself, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Larry Bird.
Durant’s small forward Mount Rushmore, could end up being quite controversial
For the most part, Durant’s choices here are pretty straightforward. James and Bird are locked at this point, and if Durant isn’t now, he will be the time his career wraps up. Easily the most controversial choice is Leonard, who has been a solid player when he’s been on the court, but he’s struggled to stay available in recent seasons and has only played in two games so far this season.
Leonard is only 31, so there’s still time for him to cement his case, but picking him to join this group feels wrong. The most shocking omission here has to be Julius Erving, but other guys like Dominique Wilkins and Scottie Pippen are ahead of Leonard based on where he currently finds himself in his career.
Erving should surely be on this list in place of Leonard, and while some may argue that Wilkins or Pippen could come in ahead of Durant, that argument won’t be valid in a few years. Overall, this is a solid list from Durant, but his shocking pick of Leonard will likely be the cause of much uproar from longtime NBA fans.