Kevin Durant’s performance in this year’s playoffs really put him back on the map amongst the best players of today’s NBA. Even though his Brooklyn Nets lost a seven-game series to the Milwaukee Bucks, no one blamed KD, as he did everything he could to carry his team with Kyrie Irving being out and James Harden playing practically on one leg. Of course, we all knew Durant would return from his tough Achillies injury, but I doubt anyone expected him to be playing this good so soon.
During his Thunder/Warriors days, KD had the reputation as one of the top players in the NBA, right behind LeBron James in the eyes of most NBA fans. But now, as LeBron has started showing the wear and tear that comes with playing so much at his age, Durant has started to jump out as the potential best player in the world.
That topic sparked some debates and opinions being shared, with even former players giving their takes. We wrote about Magic still preferring LeBron over KD the other day, but now another former NBA great, Scottie Pippen, has come out with his opinion on the KD-LBJ debate.
Even though the media has started to push the narrative of KD surpassing LeBron as the best player in the world, Pippen went in the other direction, giving an interesting take on why Durant still hasn’t reached LeBron’s level.
James is a complete team player who understands the team and winning. Has [Durant] gotten to that level yet? He went home. I think he still has some learning to do in terms of what it takes to will a team to victory. I feel like [Durant has] always been this player. But I see a lot of a talk now going on about, ‘Has he surpassed LeBron James?‘ Surpassing LeBron James takes a little bit more than an individual’s effort.Scottie Pippen, Yahoo Sports
Pippen, just like Magic, is not yet convinced that Durant has earned to wear the crown of the best basketball player on the planet. It seems that the NBA world has become the prisoner of the moment, watching Durant shine in those few games versus the Bucks and completely forget LeBron was doing the same thing not too long ago.
Even though Durant has looked dominant due to his impeccable ability to score the ball and constantly improving the all-around game, you can’t argue that LeBron is a more complete player. The team success speaks volumes, and Durant still hasn’t proven he can carry a team by himself to the promised land. But he has an excellent chance to prove himself next season, with the Nets fully healthy and LeBron one year older. In the meantime, the torch still hasn’t been passed.
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