Kevin Durant has won back-to-back NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP awards, but some people still refuse to give him his due because he “took the easy way out” by signing a free agent contract with the Golden State Warriors — a team that had just won 73 games and had the two-time MVP Steph Curry running point.
You can add Walt Frazier to the list of people downplaying KD’s triumphs.
The New York Knicks legend, who was also a two-time NBA champ and a seven-time All-Star, recently appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio and said that Durant shouldn’t get the same credit as others.
“There will be an asterisk next to his name,” Frazier said, according to New York Daily News‘ Stefan Bondy.
“Durant, as great a player he is, I would still hold back (giving him credit) because he joined a team that really didn’t need him,” Frazier added. “He’s right there with LeBron, probably would’ve surpassed LeBron as the best player in the game soon, but for him doing that I still don’t give him the full credit that he probably would’ve deserved if he stayed in OKC and won a title with that team.”
Durant famously “joined the enemy” by signing with the Warriors right after they eliminated his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, by clawing their way back from a 3-1 series deficit in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. He was blasted by fans (and even some players), and arguably made things worse by taking to social media to defend his decision (sometimes using fake accounts).
Frazier was asked about the recent trend of the NBA’s biggest stars coming together to form Super Teams. He said it’s not something he would have ever considered in his playing days.
“You never know what guys are thinking today,” Frazier said. “It’s not something I would’ve done, I would’ve never joined West or Chamberlain. I wanted to kick their butts. But today’s players, they have this camaraderie. They want to play together. Melo going to Houston with Chris Paul. They’ve had that going on a long time that they wanted to be teammates.”