In an incredible turn of events in this season's NBA playoffs, the Brooklyn Nets became the only team to be swept by their opponents in the first round. The Nets were expected to give the Boston Celtics a tough fight but instead succumbed in just 4 games without winning a single one, leading to a lot of slander for their stars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
While they deal with the ramifications of that, and Durant engages in some entertaining beef with Charles Barkley, it's worth taking a look at which players have been swept the most in the playoffs. And it should provide some comfort to Kevin Durant considering that the two players that have been swept the most in NBA history are both greats of the game, Pau Gasol and Shaquille O'Neal (via HoopsHype).
"Pau Gasol is one of two players to have been swept six times in their career. Gasol got swept as a member of three different teams, with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. Same with Shaquille O’Neal, who was swept as a member of the Lakers, Orlando Magic and Miami Heat.
"Gasol was swept out of the first round of the playoffs four times while O’Neal in the first round just twice."
Funnily enough, one of the players that swept Kevin Durant this season with the Boston Celtics is Al Horford, who is one more potential sweep away from joining Pau Gasol and Shaq at 6. None of these players are slouches, and Shaq and Pau are bonafide legends, so it just shows that while sweeps are embarrassing, they can and do happen to the very best in the game.
Durant and company will still need to treat this as a wake-up call if the Nets are to achieve anything the way that they are currently constructed. If they can make some roster changes and get Ben Simmons back into the fold, it's unlikely that we'll see them swept again this time next year.