Warriors Coach Makes Shocking Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan Comparison

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Getty Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and forward Kevin Durant during a 2017 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

With the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery on tap Tuesday night, it’s all about the future for the Golden State Warriors. Head coach Steve Kerr spent some time Monday revisiting the past though, and had some bold statements to lay out, especially when it comes to one particular former Chicago Bulls teammate and one former Dubs player he coached.

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During an interview with NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai, Kerr discussed topics ranging from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics to his playing and coaching career. One notable tidbit came when the future Hall-of-Fame coach got to talking about Kevin Durant.


Durant ‘Showed He’s the Most Talented Basketball Player on Earth’

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GettyGolden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and forward Kevin Durant during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Durant has put together a stellar 14-year NBA career thus far, one that has made him a cinch for enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame. After his illustrious days with the Oklahoma City Thunder, “KD” joined forces with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green with the Dubs from 2017 to 2019, winning a pair of NBA titles and putting up otherworldly numbers under the leadership of Kerr.

“Thrilled to be coaching KD again,” Kerr said to Mathai on Monday, referring to this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. “He gave us three amazing years. It was a wonderful relationship. I know people want to focus on the end when maybe it didn’t finish so well with the injury and his departure, but everything about Kevin and his involvement in the Olympics and coaching him again, it all excites me.”

Durant of course, was traded by Golden State to the Brooklyn Nets two years ago and after missing all of last season while recovering from a torn Achilles, returned to play in just 35 regular season games this season. Durant was the only member of the Nets’ Big 3 to play in all 12 of the team’s playoff contests this spring though, averaging 35.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game in Brooklyn’s Eastern Conference Semifinals seven-game series defeat against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“He just showed he’s the most talented basketball player on earth, if not of all time,” Kerr said. “Honestly. He’s just so gifted. I loved coaching him, and I’m looking forward to doing so again.”


Durant, MJ Are Different Players Who Played in Different Eras

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GettyMichael Jordan, Luc Longley, and Steve Kerr of the Chicago Bulls during the McDonald’s Championship at the Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy in Paris, France in 1997.

Those who disagree with Kerr’s assessment of Durant may point to others like LeBron James as a replacement atop Kerr’s pedestal, but nobody can argue against the great Michael Jordan either, who Kerr happened to play with for four seasons. MJ, Kerr and company won three NBA titles under legendary coach Phil Jackson.

“I think he’s more gifted, I really do,” Kerr said of Durant. “That’s saying something, but Kevin is a different … entirely different breed. He’s 6-11 with guard skills, unlimited 3-point range, passing, shot-blocking — his shot-blocking at the rim, it’s just stunning. Watching him this year was really, really gratifying to see.”

It’s hard to say whether more people will be in agreement with Kerr – likely those in Dub Nation who have forgiven Durant – or disagreement, probably die-hard Bulls and MJ fans. Either way, given what Kerr has given to both the Chicago and Golden State fan bases over the decades, he probably doesn’t have to worry losing too many fans over this one.

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