It’s been a rough few month for Kevin Durant and his legacy.
Durant’s Nets were last seen being swept out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Boston Celtics, the Kyrie Irving saga has taken a new turn, and his old team won another championship.
Following the Golden State Warriors fourth NBA title in eight seasons, sports talk show hosts have called into question the legacy of the Brooklyn Nets phenom.
Durant’s legacy goes South
Following a sign-and-trade in 2019 that sent the former league MVP to Brooklyn from the Warriors, Durant signed a four-year, $164 million contract.
In 2021, Durant signed another four year extension in Brooklyn for over $194 million. Championships, and deep playoff runs were expected when he partnered with point guard, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.
Alas, injuries and bizarre off-the-court circumstances got in the way of what “could have been” in Brooklyn.
It didn’t help that Durant’s old team had won another NBA Championship just this year. With Steph Curry winning his first NBA Final’s MVP, the future Hall-of-Famer proved he did not need Kevin Durant on the roster to be an NBA Champion.
It is not something that has been lost when analysts look at the impact of Durant and Curry.
“This must be so frustrating for KD. When Durant was winning titles we all said, ‘If KD wants a real legacy he has to leave.’ Then he left.” Nick Wright said on the daily FS1 show, First Things First. “But, these playoffs went as badly as they could’ve gone for him.”
The sentiment was also shared by Wright’s co-host Chris Broussard.
“Yes, the GSW title did impact Kevin Durant’s legacy negatively. Nobody is talking about KD being top 10. A year ago, most people had KD ahead of Steph. … It has hurt his legacy a bit. The way to make up those points is to go out & do it in Brooklyn.” Broussard answered.
Not everyone on the crew agreed though. Pointing to the struggling performance of Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics, Kevin Wildes saw no reason to say another Warriors title affected Durant.
“No one on God’s green earth is like oh Tom Brady won again, what happens to Randy Moss’ legacy? That’s not how it works. KD is still phenomenal, everyone knows. I don’t think KD’s legacy moved one iota since Jayson Tatum had 100 turnovers.” Wildes chimed in.
Durant’s legacy could also be paired with current his point guard in Kyrie Irving. While Irving and Durant couldn’t get out of the first round of the latest playoffs, Irving’s future with the team remains in doubt.
And with Irving reportedly looking for options elsewhere, it could open the door for Durant’s future in New York to be in jeopardy as well.
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