Pump Fake: A Deep Dive into Kevin Durant’s Legacy and His Recent Comments

It is no secret that both of Kevin Durant’s championships came on all-time great teams. Although Durant was the Finals MVP in both of those championships, basketball fans will forever remember that Durant joined the Warriors a few months after he blew a 3-1 lead to them in the Western Conference Finals. In a recent interview with ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, Durant mentioned that at this point in his career, self-improvement is his main career focus. If self-improvement is really Durant’s main focus now, why does he keep joining and creating super teams? A player can not do much better when surrounded by a surplus of talent. The recent players that Durant has played with include Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Demarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, and LaMarcus Aldridge. That list includes MVP level players and all of those players were All-Stars at some point in their careers. Self-improvement involves challenging yourself and overcoming obstacles, but Durant has been teaming up with some of the best players in the league.

Another one of Durant’s comments included him stating, “I wasn't expecting to be a happy human being from a title.” It is difficult to be a “happy human” after joining a 73 win team to win your first title. After winning his two titles Durant said his view shifted to development and winning isn’t “the end all be all for him.” Durant does not gain much satisfaction from winning titles because his two titles were due to the benefit of having a super team. Nobody questions Durant’s talent, but his amazing play does not offset the decisions he has made. Even now on the Nets, he is surrounded by perennial All-Star players, and all of a sudden his focus has shifted to developing as a player? Durant is well aware that the Nets are poised to win their first-ever championship as a franchise, but even if he wins his third title, his legacy will forever be tarnished.


Email Ryan at rrm232@cornell.edu with any questions!