Kevin Durant believes he should be in the NBA GOAT conversation: ‘Why shouldn’t I be in that?’

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Kevin Durant has had an amazing NBA career. He’s an MVP winner, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, a four-time scoring champion and, of course, a two-time NBA champion. There is no doubt that he is going to be a Hall of Famer for the first time and will be remembered as one of the greatest players of his generation. But, like most great players, Durant feels he has earned an even bigger legacy. The Arizona Republic’s Duane Rankin asked Durant why he is not widely involved in the greatest conversation of all time, and he suggested there is only one thing keeping him from it.

“Because I went to the Warriors,” Durant told Rankin. “Why shouldn’t I be in it? That’s the question you should be asking. Why not? What haven’t I done?”

Durant’s decision to join the Warriors in 2016 was one of the most controversial free-agent choices ever. The Warriors had already won a championship in 2015, and in 2016 they won an NBA-record 73 regular season games. When Durant signed with the Warriors, many people considered the two championships he won to be inevitable.

As far as what Durant hasn’t done? To an extent, he is right. He’s done everything an all-time great candidate should do… but he hasn’t done it as often as other candidates. For example, compare Durant to Michael Jordan. Durant has two titles and Jordan has six titles. Durant has four scoring titles and Jordan has 10. Durant has one MVP and Jordan has five. When you line up those resumes next to each other, it’s hard to argue that Durant has accomplished more in his career than Jordan. Durant’s career is still a work in progress, of course, but at age 35, it’s hard to envision him closing those huge gaps.

Of course, none of this takes away from Durant’s tremendous career. By almost any measure, he is one of the best players to ever touch a basketball. He is also capable of things that players like Jordan and LeBron James cannot do. The NBA has never seen his combination of size, shooting and ball-handling. One could also argue that these qualities make Durant a fair choice for the debate over which player you would want to have the last shot in a big game. Durant’s size makes him difficult to defend in that setting.

But he doesn’t have the overall resume that players like Jordan and James have, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Let’s just say, there’s no shame in being the 14th best player of all-time. Still, no competitor as accomplished as Durant will accept anything less than the No. 1 spot. Ultimately, he’s going to retire as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. His achievements do not diminish in the slightest by saying that some were slightly better.

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