Kevin Durant will be making his debut with the Brooklyn Nets next season, trying to bring the franchise their first NBA championship in history. The job won't be easy, though, but KD has already won the title, even though the circumstances are different for him and the rest of the NBA teams. The Los Angeles Lakers just won their 17th NBA championship against the Miami Heat in the Orlando bubble, becoming the team to beat next season.
Durant has more reasons to beat the purple and gold with his Nets. Added to the expectations they already have, the Lakers have LeBron James on the roster, KD's nemesis in the league. They have clashed three times in the Finals, with Bron winning the first duel and Durant taking revenge in the next two. That said, some people expect these two to go at it in the biggest series of all, but neither team will have an easy path.
According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, LeBron will be waiting for Durant the next season. Durantula still has to prove he can win without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. More importantly, he must prove that he can be LeBron without all that help. Smith said that as long as KD plays well, the Nets will come out of the East this season (2:39 minute).
"KD believes he's the best in the world, hell I believe he's the best in the world. He's that sensational, he's a scoring machine. Career 27 points per game, just like LeBron James, he goes to Golden State, wins back-to-back championships, should have three-peated if he hadn't torn his Achilles. He decides to go to Brooklyn (...) LeBron goes to LA, handles his business, he delivers a 'ship, he's the King again, the King has the crown again, he's the best in the world. You KD were not healthy, you come back, I still believe KD can average 27 in this league. Whether or not he's gonna be the same remains to be seen, but remember, his success is predicated on his athleticism. He's 6'11" with a 7'6" wingspan that has handles and has a range that can rival Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. This brother is that elite. When I look at it and I look at the squad that Brooklyn has with LeVert and all these boys, with the kind of crew they have together with a healthy Kyrie and a healthy Kevin Durant, there is no excuse not to make it to the NBA Finals and if you go up against LeBron, LeBron standing there as the King, with the crown, what are you going to do?"
He then claimed that Durant is 'on the clock' and he needs to show that he's better than LeBron in the Finals, reminding everybody that KD is the one with the obligation to beat James, not the other way around.
“He’s not on the clock because he was injured and now he’s coming back. He’s on the clock because of who the champion is now. That dude is somebody you have quietly declared you are better than (KD). So that dude (LeBron) is going to be waiting. Even in his 18th season. KD, what are you gonna do?”
Durant teamed up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn and this year they'll have the opportunity to play together. They just landed Steve Nash as head coach, raising the expectations around this team. KD needs to step up and lead this team to the championship to prove all his doubters wrong.