There are a lot of ways that Kevin Durant is comparable to a player like Carmelo Anthony. Durant, like Anthony, is an elite scorer, has a natural aptitude for the game, and is the type of player everyone envisions their NBA 2k MyPlayer character to be. But KD doesn’t want to be in a class with Melo, he wants to be in LeBron James’ company.
For all his criticisms, Anthony is one of the greatest and most gifted scorers the history of basketball has ever seen. Melo has the consistency in the his shooting stroke to demolish a team from the perimeter and the bulk to bully smaller defenders on the block. He is a matchup nightmare on most nights.
He’s the type of player that makes you fall in love with his game because of how easy he makes offense look. On the fast break, he’s been known to splash transition three-pointers like Golden State guards, but he’s also like a freight train when attacking the lane after a turnover. The same could be said of Durant, Golden State’s newest edition.
KD wants to be LeBron James, not Carmelo Anthony…
What makes Durant different from Melo isn’t in their abilities but in Durant’s dedication to his basketball legacy. Durant feels that the major thing separating him from LeBron is the titles, while Melo believes there is nothing separating him from LeBron.
As a society, we’ve defined basketball greatness as a quest for championship rings. For example, do we consider Charles Barkley to be a greater player than Tim Duncan? No, and why not? Most people feel this way primarily because of Timmy’s rings. The same people rarely mention the fact that Duncan holds one of the highest player efficiency rating of all time and is probably the best two-way player ever.
KD wants to be Tim Duncan, not Charles Barkley…
If Barkley would have won five rings with the same regular season stats and accolades, we’d point out how he’s only 6-foot-6 doing the same thing Duncan did, so he has to be greater. Unfortunately for Chuck, he didn’t win a single title so we will never have that debate.
Durant has many of the same accolades as LeBron; multiple all-star appearances, NBA First Team honors and Olympic gold medals. On paper, it looks like we’d be talking about the same player until it got to the topic of championships and MVPs. Most valuable trophies are subjective in any sport, which makes it difficult to gauge how much stock to put in the accomplishment. But championships are the pinnacle of any sport, making them the most visible factor in determining one’s legacy.
KD wants to be Kobe, he wants to be a GOAT…
We pressured KD into making a run with the Warriors because of how we’d view his legacy had he not won any titles. He wanted to stay in Oklahoma City with his friend Russell Westbrook, but he wants to be great even more. KD looks up to and idolizes Kobe Bryant — arguably a player with a greater legacy than LeBron. But Kobe won championships (a lot of them) and he did it with a great support and cast that included a number of future Hall of Famers.