One of the best European players of all time and the former member of the championship team, Chicago Bulls Toni Kukoc, made a guest appearance on NBA/Reddit, where he answered questions from the fans worldwide. Kukoc, who is exceptionally knowledgeable about basketball and is one of the versatile players from the ’90s, shared his thoughts about the modern NBA and which player, in his opinion, is the best in the NBA right now.
In Kukoc’s opinion, modern-day basketball doesn’t require teams to have a pure point guard who will take the ball down the court and make plays for his teammates. Instead, players today possess the skillset to do several things equally well on the basketball court. Before, every player had his role on the team, which definitely changed in the last decade, and now we see players who can dribble, shot, and handle the ball even though they might not be classified as point guards.
“Basketball doesn’t require a playmaker anymore, somebody that you always look for that has to bring the ball up the floor. In this era, there are so many players with multiple skills that it’s almost a waste of time to look for the playmaker when someone can push the ball and get into the offense.”
Toni Kukoc, via NBA/Reddit
For Kukoc, LeBron James is the perfect example of how the NBA today is different than ever before. LeBron is a 6’8″, 250-pound point forward, and people often mistake him for a point guard, especially this season when he was averaging well over ten assists per game. But, despite all that, Kukoc thinks Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA because of his excellent skill set and versatility. He also believes Durant would fit well in the triangle offense because any player can make all sorts of plays in that system, and Kevin Durant has all the tools to do just that.
“Plenty of times, LeBron is mistaken as a point guard, which is awesome. Kevin Durant, to me in my personal opinion, is the best player in the NBA. He can easily bring the ball up the floor. That’s a style that the triangle offense allowed that any one of us could run the point or be a post person or fill the corners. It’s no requirement to have a point guard, and you can have skill players with 3 or 4 guys on the same team playing multiple positions.”
Toni Kukoc, via NBA/Reddit
Even though he struggled with injuries, Durant is having a productive season and played like a true MVP in the first few weeks. He accepted his role within the Nets system as he did with the Warriors, and it seems to be working perfectly. His versatility allows him to shine even if he is not the first option on offense, while his defense remains an underrated part of his game. Durant is still a menace on offense capable of dropping 30 points with ease every single game, so it’s no surprise Kukoc admires him so much.