“KD can score better than LeBron, probably always have been able to. But has he surpassed LeBron? Naw,” Pippen said. “He tried to beat the Milwaukee Bucks instead of utilizing his team. You see what I’m saying? LeBron James would’ve figured out how to beat them and he wouldn’t have been exhausted and he may not have taken the last shot. But LeBron ain’t KD, and KD ain’t LeBron. KD is a shooter, a scorer. But he doesn’t have what LeBron has.”
The comments came with some strange timing, considering Durant carried his Nets team with averages of 35.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game with a 49.7 field-goal percentage. He came up just inches short of guiding his squad to the Eastern Conference Finals, despite injuries to Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who played but was far from 100%.
Durant also had a massive Game 5 performance against the Bucks, netting 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists. The big night from KD lit up the internet, with many dubbing him the best player in the world. It even generated a response from James.
“GREATNESS!” James wrote on Twitter. “Appreciate it while you can people! #KD.”
Kevin Durant Fires Back at Scottie Pippen
Durant isn’t one to take a shot and not respond, often firing back at his critics on social media. The former MVP sent off a series of tweets in response to Pippen, bringing up some of his not-so-memorable moments from his time with the Bulls.
“Didn’t the great Scottie Pippen refuse to go in the game for the last-second shot because he was in his feelings his coach drew up the play for a better shooter?” Durant wrote in one tweet.
Durant wasn’t done, firing off another shot at Pippen.
“This guy Scott also wanted to enjoy his summer so he chose to rehab during the season lol yo [Scottie Pippen],” Durant tweeted. “THEY FOLLOWED PHIL, NOT YOU!”
LeBron James Looking to Get Back to Full Health
Both Durant and James dealt with injuries last season — James a high-ankle sprain and Durant with thigh and hamstring issues. So the whole “best player in the world” argument might have to wait until next year, when both stars are back to full strength.
James, who will turn 37 next season, is especially looking forward to some time off.
“It’s going to work wonders for me, obviously,” James said of getting some rest. “During the season I don’t even talk about rest, I don’t even like to put my mind and frame into that, it makes me weak. But in the offseason, I get an opportunity to rest. We’ve got like three months to recalibrate, get my ankle back to 100% where it was before that Atlanta game, and that’s the most important thing for me.”
Durant won’t be getting as much rest, opting to play for Team USA at the Olympics.