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) /
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Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Kevin Durant’s immense talent

All that being said, I will concede that Durant is certainly the most talented basketball player to play professionally at the NBA level and in the city of New York. However, this alone can’t make him the New York basketball GOAT in my opinion. In sports culture, the term GOAT is used to represent a player who is the best in his sport, which involves several layers. Durant’s talent alone is top tier all-time in the NBA, but when you take into account his accomplishments and compare him to other NBA players in history, Durant is somewhere in the 11-20 range.

Durant has only played 45 games, regular season and playoffs, in the black and white. He has won no awards with Brooklyn, and while he is on the brink of winning his second playoff series for the team, this wouldn’t be an accomplishment of much significance unless it leads to a Finals appearance. Durant, when compared to other NY basketball pros before him, has accomplished very little in a very, very small sample size.

Again, Smith made it clear that he believes Durant is the greatest player to ever play in NY as a talent, but not necessarily the NY basketball GOAT based on his body of work in Brooklyn. Perhaps, based on what we know, he feels that way and would give a different answer if asked who the NY basketball GOAT is when considering everything else aside from just talent. If he was asked to elaborate and he went as far to say it’s still Durant, then he would simply be wrong.

I don’t think there is any argument to be made that when considering every aspect of a player’s NYC career, that Durant stacks up with the Ewing’s, Frazier’s, Anthony’s, or Willis Reed’s. He just hasn’t been around long enough to accomplish anything of substance. Sure, Durant has played like the Durant we knew prior to his Achilles tear, and can definitely get to that level those other players reached, but he’s not there left.