Reaction: Stephen A. Smith says Kevin Durant Is NY basketball GOAT

Kevin Durant, Nets, NY Knicks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant, Nets, NY Knicks. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
Kevin Durant
Stephen A. Smith. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith is known for his unique, bombastic, and at times outrageous takes on the sports world, and the buck doesn’t stop with “his” New York Knicks.

When discussing the approaching Game 5 of the Milwaukee Bucks vs Brooklyn Nets playoff series back on Tuesday morning, Smith briefly expressed his opinion that “Kevin Durant is the best player that has ever played for the city of New York.”

“Kevin Durant is the greatest player in the history of New York,” Smith began. “Not Clyde Frazier 1971, not Patrick Ewing, not Carmelo Anthony. No-one. Kevin Durant is the greatest basketball player to ever represent the city of New York in basketball. Period.”

Is Kevin Durant actually the best player in New York, ever?

These comments definitely on their face can paint a controversial picture without given context. In that moment, Smith used these comments as a way to emphasize the greatness of Durant, who in his opinion should therefore be able to win a game on his own without James Harden and Kyrie Irving healthy. Smith predicted Durant would drop 50 points and win Game 5. That night, Durant delivered Brooklyn the W by dropping a 49-point triple-double.

Additionally, it is important to clarify Smith’s words for what they are. While nobody can deny Durant’s status as one of basketball’s all-time greats, there is certainly an argument to be made that he hasn’t specifically done enough, if anything, to establish himself as a New York basketball G.O.A.T. Smith made sure to cap off his comments by saying Durant is the greatest to represent the city in basketball.

In this case, I would agree with Smith. Technically, Durant is the best player to ever play for a team that is located in New York State. But, even this statement has some interesting caveats. Call it nitpicking if you want, but do the Brooklyn Nets truly represent New York?