Kevin Durant is one of the best scorers that the game has ever seen, and there's no doubt that he will go down as one of the defining players of the generation. However, many have criticized him for joining the Golden State Warriors back in 2016 and tagging on to a team that has already won a championship. He then proceeded to leave the team in 2019 free agency.
The Golden State Warriors have since made it back to the NBA Finals. When speaking to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News, Charles Barkley stated the team getting back to the Finals without Kevin Durant will affect his legacy.
Three years after Kevin Durant left them in free agency, the Warriors are back in the Finals, and the Nets couldn’t win a playoff game.
It’s a narrow view of a complicated legacy question, but, as Charles Barkley reiterated Wednesday, it can stand as an argument against Durant’s placement on the NBA’s Mount Rushmore.
“You know it has an effect on his legacy,” said Barkley, who was promoting his upcoming appearance at the American City Golf Championship at Tahoe. “If you go back and look, and I talked about it on the [TNT] show, LeBron has said it before — he said, ‘I had to win a championship without Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.’ And Kobe’s said it before, Rest in Peace, ‘I’ve got to win a championship without Shaq.’
“So Kevin and Kyrie [Irving], before we elevate them among the old guys, they’re not going to get the credit they deserve until they win a championship by themselves and be The Guy.”
There's no doubt that Kevin Durant will definitely be viewed more favorably if he is able to win a championship as the No. 1 option. Perhaps we will see that happen at some point in the future.
The Brooklyn Nets should, in theory, be contenders next season if they are fully healthy, as they have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons on the roster. Hopefully, we see them develop chemistry and get far in the playoffs, which is something they were unable to do this season.