Kevin Durant was named the best player in the NBA ahead of the 2021/22 season. The Brooklyn Nets superstar beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James, who ranked 2nd and 3rd in ESPN's top 100 list.
After a disappointing second-round exit in the 2021 playoff, plenty of fans believe Durant didn't live up to the hype in his first active season in Brooklyn. Regardless, ESPN sees him as the best player entering the new campaign, surpassing the reigning Finals MVP.
Analyst Stephen A. Smith backed the 2x NBA champion, explaining that Giannis' offensive level isn't close to Durant's. During a recent edition of First Take, Smith made a case for KD, saying that Giannis is good, but he can't be compared to Durant as a scorer (1:18).
“When we talk about Kevin Durant, and what this brother is able to do offensively-- we know that he defends on the perimeter, we know what he can do in that regard, but offensively, it's not even close. Giannis Antetokounmpo is just not on a level that Kevin Durant is under, I don’t see how anybody can dispute that, although I'm sure some people will try."
Giannis is a strong force in the paint, but other than that, his offensive game is limited in comparison to Durant. Of course, KD is one of the greatest scorers of all time, and he should be compared to other all-time greats in that regard, such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or James Harden.
Well, Antetokounmpo knows how to take advantage of his virtues every time he's on the court. He's a dominant player regardless of his limitations, taking the Milwaukee Bucks to the promised land last season.
This upcoming term, we will probably see the Bucks and Nets battling it out in the postseason again, with Durant and Antetokounmpo having another chance to define who the best player in the world is.