Early this month the NBA trade deadline took place with multiple stars getting moved reshaping the league. Kevin Durant was one of those stars traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Phoenix Suns gave the Suns the potential to have a great starting five that can make a run to an NBA championship. Durant is one of the best players the league has ever seen and a top 75 player in the league’s history. However, he has bounced around to find a championship rather than going out to win his own with his own team. Because of this, it will significantly affect how people view Kevin Durant’s legacy and how it will stack up against other great players.
Not Winning With his Own Team
Durant started with the Oklahoma City Thunder with a core of young stars including Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka. Durant was the star that was seen as the catalyst to take the Thunder to the promised land but it never happened. The closest that Durant got with this team was when they made the finals against the Miami Heat where they lost the series four games to one. After limited success, Durant left to join the 73-win Golden State Warriors where he won his two NBA Championships.
After winning with Golden State Durant left to play in Brooklyn with Kyrie Irving as his wing-man to try and bring a championship to the Nets. While he was there they were able to obtain James Harden to make a star-studded starting five that gave a lot of Brooklyn fans hope for a championship. However, it turned out to be a train wreck with Durant only leading the Nets to one playoff series win, James Harden requesting to get traded out of Brooklyn, and then the drama that ensued with Kyrie Irving resulted in Durant getting traded.
How it Affects Durant’s Legacy?
Kevin Durant has done a lot of winning in the NBA and there is no doubt about that. But what is going to affect his overall legacy is not being able to do with his own team. When he won his two championships with the Golden State Warriors many referred to that team as Steph Curry’s team. Which was because he made them the powerhouse for the past nine years. Especially, after the Warriors won 73 games and then added Durant it was evident that he was just chasing a ring (which every star should).
The difference between Durant and any other player chasing a ring is that Durant should be the player carrying his team to a championship. To give him the credit he tried to do that with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn and ultimately chose the wrong star to team up with. But every time Durant should be the ultimate leader of a team he has not been able to bring that team to a championship. For example, with Oklahoma City with young budding superstars, they could only make it to the finals once. And with Brooklyn, they only won one playoff series.
Overall, when you look at the grand scheme of legacies in the NBA and compare Durant to Lebron James there are some major differences that make James’s legacy much better. Yes, Lebron made the big three in Miami to bring two championships there but was able to will his teams in Cleveland and Los Angeles to championships which is something that Durant cannot say he has. All in all, James and Durant are the two best players of this generation but it is clear that Lebron’s legacy will be stronger because of his ability to take over a game and drag his teams to championships.