Coming into the 2021-22 NBA season, most fans would agree that if Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant isn’t the best player in the NBA today, he is extremely close. After suffering a career-threatening tear to his Achilles during the 2019 NBA Finals many fans were unsure if Durant would ever return to being the type of player that they were used to seeing.
That torn Achilles caused Durant to miss the entire 2019-20 NBA season, but when he returned last year for his debut season with the Nets, the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player picked up right where he left off in the 2019 Finals. Last season Durant averaged 26.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists in 35 games played for the Nets. Durant kicked his game into an even higher gear during the playoffs averaging 34.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game.
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Anthony Edwards Calls Kevin Durant the GOAT
Usually, when the conversation of who the greatest basketball player of all time is comes up there are three names that always get mentioned. Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and the late Kobe Bryant.
While Durant is a silent assassin, he has quietly begun to inspire the next generation of hoopers. One of those hoopers is last year’s number one overall draft pick, Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards. During an interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Edwards says that he believes Durant is the greatest basketball player of all time because “He’s 7 feet and can do everything a point guard can do.”
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Kevin Durant Still Wants To Improve His Game
While Durant is not often regarded to as the greatest of all time, he has stacked up a resume that at the very least makes him worthy of being in the conversation. Over his 13-year NBA career Durant has managed to collect 2 NBA championships, 2 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards, 1 regular season Most Valuable Player award, 4 scoring titles, and has been selected to 11 NBA All-Star Games.
Despite all the accolades that he has secured, Durant insists that the awards and recognitions are not what motivates him. What drives him now is seeing just how good he can get at the game of basketball.
“Once I won a championship [with Golden State], I realized that, like, my view on this game is really about development. Like, how good can I be? It’s not about, you know, let’s go get this championship. I appreciate that stuff and I want to win to experience that stuff, but it’s not the end-all, be-all of why I play the game,” Durant said in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols last season.
“I wasn’t expecting to be a happy human being from a title. I was just expecting like, you know, the ending of a movie — once you worked so hard and everybody tells you like, ‘Yo, this is what you need to be working for, is this gold ball and these rings.’ And I’m just like, ‘All right, cool, let me lock in on that.’ And I locked in on wanting to achieve that, but I also realized it’s a lot of stuff that factors in it that’s out of my control.”
The one knock on Durant throughout his career is his decision to join Golden State which ultimately resulted in him winning two championships. If he can lead this Nets team to a title this season it will only strengthen his argument in the GOAT debate.