Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made waves on Wednesday when he stated his belief that Kevin Durant is a more gifted player than Michael Jordan. Naturally, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had thoughts on his statement.
On Thursday’s edition of First Take, Stephen A. emphatically disagreed with Kerr’s assessment of the two. The main reasons he gave were that Durant plays in a softer league now than Jordan did in the 1980s and 1990s, and that Durant isn’t that same “assassin” that Jordan was in prime.
“The road to prosperity that you had to endure back in the day was far more arduous than it is today,” Stephen A. said. “For me, what I hold against Kevin Durant… is A) the times that we’re playing in now compared to what it was then, and B) the one thing to hold against Kevin Durant: We all know what Kevin Durant is capable of, but it’s whether or not he wants to…”
It’s worth point out that Steve Kerr – as a teammate of Jordan’s in the 90s – might have taken Stephen A.’s points into account when he made his comparisons in the first place. But Kerr could also be biased by Durant’s contributions to his Golden State Warriors’ dominance in the late-2010s.
My reaction to Steve Kerr saying Kevin Durant is more gifted than Michael Jordan. pic.twitter.com/OBIIaKdhyw
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 24, 2021
In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Kevin Durant was called upon to carry the load for the Brooklyn Nets after Kyrie Irving and James Harden went down with injuries. He did his best, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to get to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The loss in the playoffs wasn’t a big hit to Durant’s reputation. But it did reinforce some negative takes on him.
Durant has a lot of work to do to prove that he’s in the same stratosphere as Michael Jordan. And he might not have that many years left to do it.
Do you agree with Stephen A. Smith’s response to Steve Kerr’s hot take?