Kevin Durant is no stranger to criticism, but the criticism surrounding the NBA star seems to have mounted since he was traded to the Phoenix Suns.
Some NBA analysts wondered whether the criticism Durant receives is fair ahead of his expected debut in a Suns uniform against the Hornets in Charlotte on Wednesday.
ESPN’s Jay Williams take? Durant is in a no-win situation with the Suns.
“For me, if you’re Kevin Durant, even if you do win one (NBA championship) with Phoenix. Basketball purists will say: ‘Phoenix has never won an NBA championship. Phoenix got blown out last year in a Game 7 in a game like we felt they were going to be in and got smashed. And now he’s reviving Chris Paul and Devin Booker to help them to get over the hump to win a championship.’ That’s how I will look at it, but natural members of the media are going to say he still forced his way out of Brooklyn because that failed and he still got himself to another team where they had another perennial All-Star in Devin Booker and CP3.
“So it does feel like if you’re KD, you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. You can’t worry about other people cementing your greatness. All that matters at the end of the day is that you will be a two-time finals MVP, you’re a two-time World Champion and if you become a third-time finals MVP and a three-time World Champion, he will be considered one of the greatest to ever do it. He may not be LeBron James, he may not be Michael Jordan, but you are not going to sit there and dismiss his talent.”
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Kevin Durant has a lot of critics, but he also has defenders
Criticism followed Durant to Phoenix with people calling him a “ring chaser” and other things for asking to be traded to the Suns from the Nets (and for being a part of previous “super teams” with the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo recently said on ‘The Daily Show’ of Durant: “You keep joining these super teams to win an NBA title. How about we work out together sometime so I can teach you how to carry your own team.”
Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless didn’t find the joke from Antetokounmpo funny.
Charles Barkley recently criticized Durant, saying that he needed to win a title as the leader of a team to help his legacy.
ESPN’s JJ Redick took issues with that criticism of Durant from Barkley.
Durant himself responded to it on social media.
Can Durant do anything to quiet his critics or is Williams right?
Is the new Suns star really “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”?
We’ll find out as we follow the Suns and Durant, and the narrative following them, the rest of this season and beyond.
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Reach Jeremy Cluff at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.
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