The road to a third NBA championship ring for Kevin Durant took a detour in Game 3 after the Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 125-122 in overtime to cut the series lead to 2-1.
None of the blame for that loss can be pinned on the two-time NBA champion Durant, however — he’s been carrying the Warriors in these playoffs and put up a particularly monstrous stat line in Game 3. The reigning Finals MVP took 31 shots from the field – the most in any game this year and tied for the most in his playoff career – while also going a perfect 12-for-12 from the line, leading to 46 points. Amazingly, that’s not even his best output of the playoffs — he put up a 50-burger in Game 6 against the Clippers.
Add in six assists, and it was a near-perfect game from Durant.
“Threes, mid-range, finishes on the break, handle, pull-up jumper, fall away,” fawned ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith after the performance, “And oh, by the way, unlike LeBron James with 66% at the free-throw line, Kevin Durant is near 90% … This is a man who has the potential to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the greatest scorer in the history of basketball.”
How Many Rings Does KD Have?
Despite having a legitimate claim to being the best player in the league, Durant has won “just” two NBA Championship rings over the span of his 12-year career which started in Seattle and went through Oklahoma City.
And while he would win the league MVP award as a member of the Thunder, he wouldn’t start collecting championship hardware until he landed in the Golden State.
He won an NBA championship with the Warriors in his first year after signing two-year, $54.3 million free-agent contract. But Durant wasn’t just riding on Steph Curry’s coattails — he won the finals MVP while scoring 35.2 points per game.
It was more of the same the following year, as Durant averaged 31.7 points per game in a sweep of LeBron James’ Cavaliers, earning a back-to-back MVP awards on back-to-back NBA titles.
Players With the Most NBA Championship Rings
At 30 years of age, the Washington, DC product is showing the basketball world that he still has plenty left in the tank, and he may yet have time to catch up to some of the legends.
But Durant needs to keep an incredible pace if he has any hope of catching the all-time leaders.
No one can touch Bill Russell in that department. With 11 NBA championships to his name, Durant would need to win a ring in nine straight years just to tie the Celtics legend.
He’d need eight to catch Sam Jones, who won 10 championships in 11 Finals appearances during his 12-year playing career. Meanwhile, John Havlicek, Tom Sanders, K.C. Jones, Tom Heinsohn all have eight rings.
Even catching more modern-era legends like Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen – both with six rings – will be tough.
However, considering LeBron James is 34 and his Lakers just missed the playoffs, Durant has a real chance at catching, or even surpassing him in the championship department — depending on where he ultimately decides to go as a free agent.