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Photo: Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is inarguably one of the greatest NBA players of all time. His skill, talent, and genetic ability places him at the top of the list of players, not only in the position of “small forward,” but among all athletes on the court during any given game night. With Durant’s innate ability and incredible dedication to the sport of basketball, it is baffling why someone of such skill and physical prowess has not been the recipient and victor of more NBA Championship titles. In the entirety of his time in the NBA, Durant has earned himself two championship rings as a part of the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors won the championship playoffs with Durant during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
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Many fans of the sport of basketball dispute the true validity of these wins as during this time Golden State had amassed what has now been dubbed as a “super team,” featuring four All-Star players on its roster. Those players are Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green. Despite the naysayers who argue about the unfairness of allowing a team of such skill within the league, Golden State broke no rules by having these players as starting members. They went on to defeat all other teams during the playoffs to win these two championship titles. After Durant helped Golden State to win the NBA Championship in 2018, he decided that he had achieved his goal and opted to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets.
Kevin Durant: NBA Legend
Kevin Durant will go down in history as one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. He has proven that as an individual he is capable of performing at a level that only a few players have been capable of reaching. The reason why Durant does not get the credit and acclaim he so rightfully deserves is that many fans of the sport feel as if he did not earn the championship rings he received with the Golden State Warriors during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. “For years, we have all questioned the legitimacy of Kevin Durant’s two NBA championships. He joined a team in the Golden State Warriors that went on a title run one year before his signing and then won 73 games before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals… As great as he is, Durant jumped on someone else’s bandwagon to win a ring. And he did so during his prime, not once he was older and essentially washed.” This excerpt from sports writer, David Wysong, directly highlights the grievances that many fans feel towards Kevin Durant’s victories with Golden State. In essence, this issue undermines what should be considered the most prestigious award of excellence for a team in basketball. How can the public genuinely weigh the skill and effort that Durant placed towards these wins without first considering the quality of the team that he chose to join before winning the NBA Finals, twice? Although Durant is an indisputable All-Star and league MVP, his decision to join a winning team rather than create his own has somewhat tainted his legacy and has made it difficult for fans to appreciate the true skill and effort that he consistently brings to the game.
Why Has KD Struggled To Win Championships?
It is difficult to determine exactly why a person of such skill as Kevin Durant has struggled to lead his teams to NBA championships. It is known that in the NBA, no matter how skilled a player may be, it is impossible to lead a team to championships without the aid of talented supporting players. This fact includes the legacy of Michael Jordan, whom many consider being the greatest basketball player of all time. Michael Jordan, even through his own admission, would never have reached the same heights without his number two supporting man, Scottie Pippen. This is a difficulty that all great players face, that despite their own extraordinary ability they cannot win by themselves. It takes a unified team to win, and this is exactly what Durant has been missing. When Durant joined the Warriors for their back-to-back championship wins, he joined a team that was already well connected and experienced in winning together. With this environment, Durant simply brought his talents to the table, building off of the dynamic that had already been established. After Durant chose to leave Golden State he returned to the same previous existence that he had lived in before his time with the Warriors. Despite the fact that he now had moved to the Brooklyn Nets, and was playing with the all-time great, “point guard,” Kyrie Irving, Durant was unable to recreate the same seasons of victory that he had experienced in his time with the Warriors.
Durant Requests Trade From Brooklyn Nets (Current Team)
In recent news, it has been reported that Kevin Durant has requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets following Golden State’s current championship victory this year over the Boston Celtics. Public belief after reported news of this trade request is that Durant feels left behind watching his old championship team continuing to win NBA finals without him. When Durant made the decision to leave the Warriors, the promise of playing with Irving and being the top player on a new team was alluring. Durant, having stated that he felt like he had nothing more to prove after his winning seasons with Golden State, moved on to see if he was able to mold a team that would run under his own ability and leadership.
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This misbelief has proven that Durant, while being a considerably talented player, struggles in a position of authority. This determination could be why Durant flourished in his time with the Warriors, earning the league’s MVP both years. In his time as a part of the Warriors, although Durant was arguably the best on the team, it is undeniable that the Golden State Warriors are led by none other than Stephen Curry. He is a player that knows how to lead, and how to inspire his teammates to greatness, and with Durant by his side, Golden State was unmatched. Without Curry, the team he established, and his innate sense of leadership, Durant has floundered. Kevin Durant despite all criticism is a player that comes along once or twice in a generation. He has all the tools to ensure that his legacy as a basketball player lives forever, although, after watching the Warriors win this year, it would seem like he still has more to prove!
By Thomas Jacobs
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Thomas Jacobs is an avid writer, Cinema aficionado, and filmmaker. He graduated with Dean’s Honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a major in Film and Digital Media. His passion is directly tied to the appreciation and creation of film and television, and this fact is reflected in his intent to be a writer for the acclaimed entertainment journal, The Hollywood Insider. His beliefs mirror the core goals and mission statement of The Hollywood Insider by sharing an admiration for quality entertainment as well as bolstering a sense of positivity and equality among all humans. Thomas believes that Cinema is an advantageous promoter of civil and social empowerment, and he shares a mutual societal view with The Hollywood Insider, that people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.