Was losing Game 1 of the NBA Finals a good thing for the Golden State Warriors? I explain why and how it could help to keep Kevin Durant from leaving. Also, the Knicks are reportedly shopping the third overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Why this is a mistake if that pick is swapped for Anthony Davis.
In a sport filled with machismo and flash, it’s easy to see how Tim Duncan
fades into the background among the high profiled NBA stars. With so much attention focused on players such as Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Lebron James, it’s hard to believe that Duncan’s aren’t more celebrated. Everyone talks about James’ quest to win multiple championships and how Kobe Bryan has won his five titles in Los Angeles. With all of the debate about which NBA star needs to cement his legacy but winning an elusive championship ring what the experts and sports fans should be debating is how great Tim Duncan’s legacy is compared to the all-time greats.
When you ask NBA fans to describe the 6’11 power forward and center the reaction is usually a long paused as a sound of “uuummm” protrudes from their lips as they struggle to find the words. Now if you ask most NBA fans if they would consider him an all-time great they would probably say that is blasphemy. Sure Duncan’s a good player, but one of the greatest of all-time? No way?
Consider this. After the Spurs defeated the Miami Heat in 5 games to win the NBA title, Duncan has won five championships. Yes, the same amount as Kobe Bryant and three more than King James. Oh, by the way, two of those title wins were over Lebron James. With a list of accolades such as MVPs, All Star appearances, and countless NBA awards that is longer than a list of all the age jokes about the Spurs, there is no question that Duncan is a surefire Hall of Famer.
Sure, Duncan might not be the flashiest players in the NBA, but he gets the job done. He’s like a Buick while other NBA stars are italian sports cars. Sure he might not be the fastest or prettiest car, but he won’t break down on you and will be there when you really need him.
Even at the age of 38, Duncan may have the opportunity to win another title. Sure he’s not the player he used to be, but being the selfless player that he is and accepting less minutes, the Spurs are still an elite team. A team without stars, but players who all accept their role and do what is best for the team. Add in Gregg Popovich, a hall of gamer in his own right, and the Spurs could win another title or two over the next two seasons. With their well-rounded roster and playoff experience, this team will be dangerous in 2015.
With all the debate about whether James will catch up to Jordan’s six NBA titles, people should be focused if Duncan can surpass his Royal Airness. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the quietest and one of the least flashy NBA players in history won more titles than the electrifying Jordan? Instead of his Airness it might be time to recognize his royal Duncness.
Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the NBA today, period. However, he can never seem to get out of the shadows and into the limelight. When drafted, he was the number two pick after Greg Oden, and at the time considered the second best college basketball. Fast forward to 2013, and once again Durant is still number two behind the King, Lebron James. Unfortunately for Durant, no matter how many points he scores, or how many wins he brings to Oklahoma City he will never truly be inducted into the NBA’s elite until he wins a championship. It’s unfortunate, but even Lebron James went through the same thing. Lebron would have never been considered one of the greats until he won a championship. Now that the King has accomplished that, and will probably add another trophy to his hardware this season, he is without question considered one of the greatest. For Durant he must win a championship to solidify his greatness. We can now say that Lebron James is truly one of the greats, however we can’t say that about Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, or Dwight Howard because they don’t have a ring. Is it unfair? Yes, but winning a championship is the finally piece of cementing a lasting legacy in the NBA. Look at Charles Barkley, undoubtedly one of the greatest basketball players ever, but will never be considered one of the best because he doesn’t have a ring.
The thing that worries me is that Durant has embraced the fact that he’s the Thunder’s star. He’s to0 eager to pass to his teammates in big situations instead of manning up and proclaiming that this is my team, I’m taking these important shots! Listen, I’m not saying that Durant didn’t have a good playoff series, but if he wants to be an elite player in this league he needs to step up his game especially in difficult situations. If it’s the end of a game and the Thunder need a big shot, he shouldn’t be looking at his teammates to take those shots, but demand the ball. By winning a ring, it proves that Durant overcame his trial by fire and deserves to be included in basketball’s elite club. Without question, Kevin Durant is one of the best in the game today. But, if he wants to be an NBA legend he needs to take his game to the next level and bring home a ring to Oklahoma City. This reminds me of a great quote from the Sandlot; “heroes get remembered but legends never die”. For Kevin Durant he can no longer be complacent with being the second best player in the NBA. He needs a ring if he wants to be one of the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood!