Kevin Durant is entering an NBA season when he will have a lot of pressure to show what he can do with a new team without all the stars that accompanied him in the Golden State Warriors. Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019 after spending three years with the Golden State Warriors, winning two titles in three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. Now the challenge is different and bigger and KD needs to prove he can win out of the Bay.
Teaming up with Kyrie Irving, KD and his Nets are seen as one of the candidates to win the NBA title next season but that won't come easy. They have a good team but the league has changed and the competition is harder now. Durant will carry a big pressure but if he wins this year, that would put him in a privileged position, among some of the biggest legends in the game. At least that's what ESPN's Max Kellerman thinks, as he recently claimed KD would enter the GOAT conversation if he managed to win a title with the Nets (2:23 minute mark).
"KD and the Warriors join forces and they have an unfair advantage. I know KD is arguably the goodest player in the world, but was he the greatest? That doesn't prove greatness. Join a superteam that almost couldn't lose without you? But now that KD is hurt, coming back from an Achilles, we don't know if he'll ever be the same. Now that it's not the situation like in Golden State, 'cause Kyrie and LeVert, those guys are a really nice team but there are other really nice teams in the league. If KD wins a championship now, he will have proved his greatness in a way that he could've never proved in Golden State and then he will enter the talks for real -- like, Jordan and then after Jordan, who we talk about? LeBron, Kareem, Bird and Magic, oh, KD's gonna be right there if he does it in Brooklyn."
This is not the first time Kellerman makes this type of comment regarding KD and the upcoming NBA season. Back in February, he said something similar, explaining that a lesser version of Durant leading a team to a championship would reach the same level as LeBron James.
“The numbers in his prime, and his passing and defense, which became excellent, suggest that he could be in the conversation for greatest player ever. Now he’s won championships and Finals MVP, but he’s not. And he’s not because he broke the code and joined the other team to put them over the top. If KD wins the championship in Brooklyn, as some lesser version of himself, he would be mentioned with LeBron and everyone else.”
KD will carry a big pressure and he seems ready to do so. He and Kyrie are two of the most hated players in the league and everybody will be rooting against them. That should fuel them to win or break them, but that's not how these guys do it. The Nets have big expectations entering the next season and if everything goes well for them, with all the new things they're going to live this campaign, nobody would have anything to say to them.