Kevin Durant is without a doubt one of the best players in our generation. Durant is a smooth scorer who has won an MVP and championships as part of the Golden State Warriors dynasty. A lot of the time, Durant is omitted from the discussions about the greatest ever. As one of the players who is considered to equal to LeBron James in terms of pure talent, Durant has a real shot to go down as one of the greatest ever.
Despite his potential to be one of the greats, there are still things that Kevin Durant needs to accomplish. His career is far from over, and he has the ability and the team to further add silverware to his legacy. Durant building upon his legacy could impact the GOAT conversation, and here are a few ways his legacy would be bolstered.
5. Win DPOY
The Defensive Player of the Year award is a trophy that Kevin Durant has yet to add to his silverware. It is fully within his ability to be the DPOY. Durant is a switchable defender who can guard any position. While his most recent injury may limit him a little bit on the perimeter, Durant is an outstanding defender who when locked in can guard just about anyone. Durant’s combination of size and agility that makes him an effective defender when he needs to be.
If Kevin Durant wants to further his name in the GOAT discussions, then the DPOY award is something that could show his two-way ability in the history books. Durant is a menace to other players on the defensive end, able to block shots at the rim and alter them on the perimeter. If Durant showcases his defensive abilities enough to win a DPOY, the award will become a symbol for Durant’s recognition not only as an offensive powerhouse but a lockdown defender as well.
4. Win The 2020-2021 MVP Award
Kevin Durant was the 2013-2014 MVP. He can be an MVP caliber player when he’s healthy. If Durant was to win the 2020-2021 MVP, it would show the type of player that he is and highlight an underrated aspect of his game: longevity. Kevin Durant has been consistently putting up good numbers the last few years, but the MVP talks haven’t included him recently.
If Durant were to win the MVP award, 7 years after he last won it, it would show that his MVP wasn’t just one season. He could show that he is still that guy even 7 years removed from his last MVP, and longevity plays a factor in how players are viewed. An MVP win would help cement Durant as one of the top 2 players in the league next year, and if he were to perform in the playoffs during the same season, his GOAT standing will rise considerably.
3. Win Another Scoring Title
It is common knowledge that Kevin Durant is a lethal scorer. That is his most feared attribute, that is what he’s known for and that is why teams want him. Durant led the league 4 times in scoring during his career, and it is conceivable that he could do it again. On a team where he will have a lion’s share of the offensive touches, Durant could win yet another scoring title and vault himself back up into the “best player” conversation.
On the Nets, Durant will be part of a one-two punch with Kyrie Irving, something that is bound to boost his numbers as he sees more of the ball. During his time with the Warriors, Durant followed the motion system that was in place. As a result of spreading the ball and sharing it with his other scoring teammates, his numbers dropped a bit. On the Nets, Durant will be asked to score way more, as he won’t have Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson. That would lead to more points for Durant, which would further lead to his potential scoring title. That extra scoring title would reinforce Durant’s status as one of the most lethal scorers of all-time.
2. Win Two Or More Championships With The Nets
Durant is already one of the greatest players of our generation. He has most of the singular player awards and the accolades that a player could want. There is always something further. What drives some of the best players of all time is championships. Durant has two championships and two Finals MVPs, but those awards came alongside another MVP caliber player in Stephen Curry.
Curry has won MVP trophies and is an MVP caliber player, so Durant chose to leave, to win by himself. If Durant wins a few more championships, then he may start to get talked about more in the all-time rankings.
Kyrie Irving is a great scorer and an All-NBA player. However he isn’t an MVP, and Durant would be the clear-cut best player on this upcoming iteration of the Nets. If Durant wins two championships with the Nets then his championship total will be at 4: equaling LeBron James, who is widely regarded as one of the top 2 players of All-Time. If Durant wins a championship against LeBron James, that’s a bonus for his legacy as well. Durant has won against James before; but that was with a superteam, with another MVP. If Durant wins two or more championships with the Nets as the best player there, then he is instantly in the GOAT conversation.
1. Win Two Or More Finals MVPs
Kevin Durant has already won Finals MVPs with the Golden State Warriors. Durant won the award twice in 2017 and 2018. To become more talked about as one of the GOATs, Durant will have to win a few more Finals MVPs. Durant will always be remembered as one of the best; his time with the Warriors will allow detractors to make the argument that Durant could only win with a strong team. Those arguments would all go away if Durant won two or more Finals MVPs with the Nets (or another team in the future).
If Durant wins a Finals MVP while not being on the Warriors, then that award would reinforce the fact that he is a clutch player in the Finals. By winning more Finals MVPs, Durant will show the haters that he can perform on the Warriors or otherwise. If he wins two more Finals MVPs he will end up having four: equaling LeBron James. LeBron James is the GOAT benchmark for our generation: as such Durant will have to show that he can do it all in the Finals just like the King. There is no doubt that Durant is up to the challenge; we’ll just have to see how the future unfolds.