There is a highly controversial debate in the sports world as to whether or not Kevin Durant has been an elite player since joining the Golden State Warriors in 2016. The evidence seems to point that he may have peaked during his time with Oklahoma City Thunder, but it’s still unclear and fans are split on this issue.
Kevin Durant is a top-tier NBA player, but he has never been the best in any one category. Read more in detail here: kevin durant all time stats.
Kevin Durant recently made headlines when he claimed to be a top-10 player of all time. That is not as far-fetched as it may seem to many admirers of Durant’s dominant offensive game and thrilling style of play. That assertion, however, may not be true for non-basketball aficionados.
Kevin Durant is without a doubt a top-10 scoring talent of all time since he is a 6’10” sniper with a wingspan of nearly 7 feet. In terms of raw skill, Durant has a strong case for becoming one of the most unstoppable players in NBA history.
In terms of career accomplishments and general domination of the game, however, breaking the top-10 is almost difficult for any current player due to the caliber of superstars regarded the best of all time. But, given what Kevin Durant has accomplished in the game and his extraordinary skill, it’s time to see whether the former MVP has a chance to be listed among the top ten greats.
Kevin Durant Isn’t a Top-5 All-Time Player
When it comes to the best of the best, it’s difficult to argue that Kevin Durant isn’t a top-5 player. Durant isn’t even close to being in your top five, no matter what it is. First and foremost, Michael Jordan. Durant, at the age of 33, clearly does not have enough time to match Jordan’s accomplishments. Durant is woefully short in every category, including six championships with one club, ten scoring crowns, and six Finals MVPs.
LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are up next. These two stars also seem unachievable unless Kevin Durant can play at a superstar level for as long as they have and start setting scoring records and potentially winning two more championships. Durant may be able to play into his late 30s, as LeBron James is doing now, due to the speed and space of the game, but he cannot be compared to them until he does.
When it comes to the rest of the top-5 list, names like Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell are often mentioned. Because of their competitive temperament and outstanding performances with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson are often ranked in the top five by most NBA players and observers.
Durant is unlikely to match Kobe’s and Magic’s five titles, implying that he will never be compared to them. In terms of playing style, Bryant is the most similar to Michael Jordan, and his ferocious competition offers him an advantage over the more reserved Durant. Magic is the indisputable best player at his position and was the architect of a Showtime Lakers dynasty that won five championships. Durant, on the other hand, is unable to make the same assertions.
Kevin Durant Isn’t Among The All-Time Top 6-9 Players
Kevin Durant had a chance to slip someplace in the next group of Hall of Famers now that the top-5 rating was out of the way. The first person that comes to mind is Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion and widely regarded as the best defender of all time by his peers. Russell revolutionized the game without a doubt, and no big guy outside of Kareem has a chance to be compared to him.
Larry Bird is another name that will almost certainly always be regarded as superior than Kevin Durant. Until LeBron James began smashing records, the Celtics icon was widely regarded as the best small forward of all time. Now, he is solidly in second place. Durant, of course, is third, but he cannot yet be compared to Larry Legend. Bird is a three-time NBA champion, three-time MVP, and two-time Finals MVP, as well as a top-two player for the storied Celtics team.
Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan are two more players in the top-10, and Durant finds it difficult to be compared to them. Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, Shaq and Duncan dominated their respective positions, sharing championships and MVP awards. Duncan led a Spurs dynasty that lasted almost two decades, while O’Neal won three consecutive Finals MVPs and remains the most dominating player ever. The 6-9 range appears out of reach for the current Brooklyn Nets standout, who has a combined 9 NBA championships.
The Fight for Tenth Place
Kevin Durant is now in a competition for the most competitive slot in the all-time standings, number ten. Kevin Durant has to persuade enough fans and pundits that he is a better player than Wilt Chamberlain or Hakeem Olajuwon ever were in order to make the top ten. This is when things become very tough.
Most commentators place Wilt Chamberlain in the top ten because of the way he altered the game with his agility and stature. Wilt was actually leaping and scoring over opponents en way to holding a slew of unbreakable records before Shaquille O’Neal brought sheer power to the globe. To name a few achievements, scoring 100 points in a game, averaging 50.4 points per game in a season, collecting 55 rebounds in a game, and having the most 50-point games (118), 60-point games (32), and 70-point games (6).
Wilt also won two championships, four MVP awards, seven scoring crowns, and 11 times led the league in rebounds. Durant, like Wilt, was never the NBA’s best player for as long as he was in his peak. However, although Durant’s skill level and guard-like abilities are significant assets, they may not be enough to overtake Wilt.
Kevin Durant might be likened to Hakeem Olajuwon, depending on who you ask. Hakeem’s admirers lauded the center’s ability to annihilate opponents in the paint while also carrying his teammates on his back. Hakeem was a better two-way center than Durant, and he was more dominating on both ends of the court.
With a Rockets team that had a slew of non-All-Star supporting players, the former Rockets great won two consecutive titles. Hakeem won both MVP titles in the Finals, as well as two Defensive Player of the Year accolades. With 9 All-Defensive Team choices and an MVP title, Durant is unlikely to make the top-11, much alone the top-10, list of Hall of Famers.
Kevin Durant, as good as he is, had to join a 73-9 Warriors team that didn’t need him to win his first titles. How could he beat Hakeem Olajuwon, who had to lead his team to two consecutive Finals triumphs, despite the odds being stacked in his favor?
Kevin Durant is currently ranked 12th all-time in the NBA.
Kevin Durant is currently not ranked among the top ten players of all time. He doesn’t have enough titles or individual honors to compete with the top-9 players. He does, however, have a chance to make the top ten before the conclusion of his career.
Wilt Chamberlain and Hakeem Olajuwon are the targets of his ire. Durant has a genuine chance to overtake Wilt and Hakeem if he can win two more championships with the Nets before the end of his career, along with two more Finals MVPs and another MVP. He is behind them because in order to win championships, he had to join a superteam, which is something that must be stated in a discussion of this size.
Kevin Durant may be ranked the 12th best player of all time as of the completion of the 2022 season. We haven’t seen a guy who can score as effectively from all parts of the floor as Kevin Durant, even if his NBA titles are taken into account. He averages 27.2 points per game in his career, with shooting percentages of 49.6% FG, 38.4% 3-PT FG, and 88.4% FT. Durant’s effective field-goal percentage is similarly high, at 54.6 percent, and he ranks ninth all-time in PER (25.3).
With the ability to hit jumpers from 30 feet and beyond, Durant has taken what George Gervin (4-time scoring champion) started and advanced it to the next level. While not quite top-10 material, his accolades are impressive for the 12th best player in NBA history: 12 All-Star appearances, 9 All-NBA appearances, 4 scoring crowns, 1 MVP, 2 championships, and 2 Finals MVPs.
If Durant can win with the Nets and add a few more All-Star appearances, All-NBA appearances, scoring crowns, and MVPs to his resume, he might become the next player to join the top-10 list, overtaking Wilt Chamberlain and Hakeem Olajuwon. But, until that occurs, KD will remain outside the top-10, with a different aim in mind for next season.
Kevin Durant explains why he’s ranked in the Top 10 All-Time Players: “When Michael Jordan and LeBron James had to make a decision, and we were playing a five-on-five game, they chose me.”
The Boston Celtics wanted to trade Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo in a mega-trade, but the Detroit Pistons rejected the deal right away.
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