Since coming into the league in 2007 Kevin Durant has been held — by the media — to the lowest possible standards. I’m not saying Durant is held to Iman Shumpert level standards. I’m saying he’s held to the lowest standards of anyone with his level of talent. Hear me out.
LeBron James came into the league in 2003 and was ridiculed by his fifth year (2008) because he didn’t have a championship. LeBron coming up short of a championship in 2009, 2010, and 2011 further exacerbated this ridicule. Then, once LeBron won a championship in year nine — against guess who — he was finally off the hook (but not really).
What does LeBron have to do with Durant? Everything.
LeBron has everything to do with Durant because the mainstream media has put Durant on LeBron’s level since the first minute they could. In actuality, LeBron is way better than Durant because he’s done the little things necessary to come out on top whereas Durant hasn’t. LeBron’s evolved as a post player, he’s willingly passed to open teammates, he’s taken care of his body. Durant…has not.
And yet here we sit 10 years into Durant’s career and he’s still somehow right behind LeBron according to most in the media!
By my count, Durant currently has 0 championships. How then can the media — who love championships — put him on LeBron’s level?
My Logic, which happens to align with common sense: Fine, you want to put Durant on LeBron’s level? Okay, but make sure you hold him accountable just like you did LeBron.
The media, apparently, doesn’t operate with common sense in mind. They’re completely okay with the fact that Durant — the guy who is or at least was supposedly on LeBron’s level — flames out in the playoffs every single year.
Can we take a look at Durant’s playoff showings since losing to LeBron in the Finals?
2013: Ah, the year of the Memphis flameout. This was when I realized Kevin Durant was REALLY not worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as LeBron.
In 2013, James Harden was gone and Russell Westbrook got hurt in the first round thanks to Patrick Beverley. This meant that it was up to Durant to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies. Like the Tony Allen-led Memphis Grizzlies? Yeah, those Grizzlies. I know, such a daunting task.
Anyway, Durant goes in and puts up 31-9-6 on the Grizzlies. Pretty good, eh? Not so much. In Durant’s doing so, he compromised his efficiency probably because he had to take on the bulk of the offense. It’s tough playing without another top five player isn’t it, Kevin? (Remember now, in the 2007 Finals LeBron was dishing it to Boobie Gibson!)
Against the Grizz’, Durant shot 46 percent from the field and 31 percent from three and blew game after game down the stretch. The Thunder lost in five. Good job, Kevin!
2014: In the 2013-2014 regular season, Durant won MVP. Woohoo, Kevin! Way to go! The only problem is, he flamed out in the playoffs…again!
In the 2014 playoffs, Durant’s stats dropped off in basically every single solitary category from the regular season to the playoffs. He averaged fewer points, assists, and steals in addition to having a lower player efficiency rating (by a mile), true shooting percentage, box plus/minus, and win shares per 48. Again, great job, Kevin!
2015: In 2015, Durant missed the playoffs because, well, he’s injury prone. Don’t worry; we’ll touch on that later.
2016: This is my all-time favorite Kevin Durant playoff flameout year. With the whole world in his back pocket and his wingman playing perhaps the best basketball of his career up to that point, Durant experiences even more massive dips in his advanced statistics than he did in the 2014 playoffs (If that’s even fathomable).
Despite that, the Thunder find a way to build a 3-1 lead against the 73-9 (that’s the best record ever) Golden State Warriors. The Thunder predictably lost Game 5 at Golden State, which set them up for a closeout Game 6 on their court to go to the Finals. What does Durant do? He goes 10/31 from the field, turns it over late, and chokes away a chance at defeating the best team ever to head to the NBA Finals.
That’s f****** crazy! What’d he do next?!
Do you want to know what he did next? He went to the team that beat him!
The Weakest Move In the History of Weak Moves
This question pertains to anyone who’s ever competed in a team sport: Would you ever, EVER in a million years go and join the team you just lost to, knowing that you could’ve and should’ve beat them?
Durant’s move to Golden State was the weakest move in the history of weak moves.
*Whiny voice* Oh but LeBron went to the Heat.
Pal, let me tell you something: LeBron went to a 47-win team that didn’t even finish first or second in their own freaking division. He joined an aging Dwyane Wade and a Chris Bosh who looked like he was lost in Jurassic Park for most of his tenure in Miami.
Durant joined literally the BEST TEAM EVER. I’m not making that up. They won more games than anyone in NBA History.
The two are not the same. As a matter of fact, they’re not even close.
Somehow, someway, Durant is evading the injury prone label like no one’s ever evaded anything in the history of mankind. Stephen Curry has one ankle issue and he’s got ankle problems for life according to the media. Bradley Beal misses like 50 games in a three-year stretch and he’s injury prone.
Kevin Durant misses 85 f****** games. 80 f****** 5 games in a three-year stretch and………..
The Media Says…
Kevin Durant flamed out in the playoffs three straight years, missed 85 games due to injuries, and made the weakest move ever and yet he’s still “the second best player in the league.” How does this guy keep evading criticism?
I’m actually not even mad anymore; I’m flat out impressed.
Durant has one of the best deals going (Kawhi Leonard has this deal too): When he plays well, he gets hyped up as the best thing since sliced bread. When he plays bad, no one says a thing. It must be nice being the media’s golden boy.