Kevin Durant has had an exceptional career so far with a number of individual awards. The power forward holds the sixth position in terms of all-time points per game (PPG). However, despite KD’s accomplishments, he isn’t usually mentioned in the GOAT debate.
Recently the big man has raised questions over the fairness of keeping him out of the GOAT conversation because of his Championship wins with the Warriors. Another giant of the game Shaquille O’Neal has weighed in on this matter with a definitive response.
Shaq questions Kevin Durant’s credibility in GOAT conversation
Shaquille O’Neal has explained why he believes Kevin Durant doesn’t belong in the conversation among the greatest of all times in basketball. According to the former Lakers center, for Durant to be considered in the GOAT debate, he needs to win a title with the Phoenix Suns and be the driving force behind the team’s success.
Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016, after losing to them in the playoffs with the Oklahoma City Thunder, has been a point of contention. The Warriors already boasted star players such as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, who had won the NBA Championship the season before Durant’s arrival.
Shaq, along with many others, believes that Durant had significant assistance in winning the two championships with the Warriors in the following years.
Justifying his statement the 51-year-old said, “I’m not in the GOAT conversation but I am one of two of the most dominant players ever, so he’s one of the two of the most prolific dominant scorers ever.”
“But because you [Durant] lose to Golden State and then you go join them and win a championship, I think that tarnishes it. Now, if he can win one where he’s the bus driver like Charles (Barkley) always says, I think we would definitely have put him in that conversation. But right now, I really don’t have him.”
With Shaq breaking down the case, a win with the Suns will perhaps answer Durant’s questions.
Kevin Durant’s NBA accolades
There is no denying the exceptional talent of KD. After being the second draft pick in 2007, Durant made the world take notice with an outstanding season in 2008. Rookie of the Year award was deservingly won by the former Texas Longhorns player. His two NBA Championship wins in 2017, 2018 bear the sign of his excellence.
Not only he won the NBA’s top prize, but he did it in style by earning Finals MVP for both the Championships. He also won the MVP award in 2014 with the Thunders where he had shone brightly.
With his phenomenal scoring abilities, he was the NBA scoring champion in 4 consecutive years from 2010 to 2014. Additionally, Durant boasts an impressive record of 14 All-Star appearances, winning the MVP in 2012 and 2019. His six All-NBA first team selections further cement his status as one of the game’s elite players.
Best NBA Player ESPY and NBA Community Assist Award are among the other notable accolades in his collection. His numerous achievements in the Warriors made him feel that his jersey should be retired from the franchise which didn’t sit well with the fans. Durant might not be considered as a G.O.A.T contender but his achievements over the years speak volumes about him as a player.