Kevin Durant is one of the greatest of all time, but often doesn't get that credit from some fans. While Durant's talent is absolutely undeniable, it's his career choices that often hold fans back from giving him that distinction. For most fans, they believe that Durant took the easy way out by joining the Golden State Warriors in 2016, the team that went to two consecutive finals, won a championship, defeated him and OKC in the Western Conference Finals by overcoming a 3-1 deficit, and held the best-ever regular-season record in NBA history before he arrived. But fans are quick to ignore all the moments that Durant proved that he was the key to making them unstoppable.
The best example of this comes from Game 3 of the 2018 NBA Finals. Durant and the Golden State Warriors were 2-0 up going into the game. However, they had let a very weak Cleveland Cavaliers give them too much trouble in the first two games. LeBron James was the only strong player on the Cavs and almost led the Cavs to a Game 1 win, only to be foiled by a mistake by JR Smith.
In Game 3, the Golden State Warriors ended up beating the Cavs 110-102. However, a closer look at the Warriors' scorers list reflects the dire straits they were in. Kevin Durant scored an incredible 45 points for the Warriors. However, the rest of the Warriors had a poor offensive showing. In fact, Durant outscored the rest of the four highest scorers all by himself. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had uncharacteristically poor showings, scoring a combined 21 points, on 7-27 shooting.
Durant was the man who came up clutch when all other players couldn't get the job done. If you want further proof, look no further than the Finals from the following year. The Dubs struggled against the Raptors without KD. In the game that KD returned, he looked like he was going to spur the team on to a victory until his unfortunate Achilles tear.
Durant was the best player for the Warrior and showed up when they most needed it. As much as the Warriors made him a better player, the Warriors needed Durant. Without Durant, the Warriors would have struggled against the 2017 Cavs a lot more, especially after the huge morale-boosting Finals win of 2016. Durant's greatness is only further evident when you consider the quality of the team that needed him to help them when things got tough.