ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes that the Brooklyn Nets wouldn’t make it out of the East without Kevin Durant in the playoffs.
Kevin Durant is nothing short of scintillating as a basketball player. A 2-time NBA champion, most of the best defenders in the league today agree that he may just be the most unguardable player the league has ever seen.
Even the late, great Kobe Bryant once admitted that the Slim Reaper was the only player he couldn’t figure out before his retirement. The 32-year-old is hunting his third ring with the Brooklyn Nets this season. With his supporting cast including Kyrie Irving and James Harden, they are by far the most stacked team in the NBA right now.
That being said though, ESPN analyst has a very interesting opinion on the franchise ahead of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. And spoiler alert, it is very likely to spark intense debates within the NBA community.
Stephen A. Smith passionately proclaims that Kevin Durant is the most important player for the Nets
On ESPN’s ‘The First Take’, Stephen A. Smith is joined by fellow analyst Max Kellerman. And in their most recent episode, the former had this to say about the Brooklyn Nets superstars.
“Kevin Durant is averaging 29 points on 52% shooting, and 43.4% from three-point range. And by the way…87% from the free-throw line. This dude is lethal!”
“He’s a marksman, he’s a sniper extraordinaire…With a healthy Kevin Durant, a rookie coach…in Steve Nash can win the championship. Without Kevin Durant, they might not even make it out of the East.”
The often-divisive analyst continued.
“He is clearly the most important piece to the Brooklyn Nets. Now, Kyrie Irving is box office, he is a show stopper…. But we are talking about KD, he is just on another level!”
Stephen A. Smith has made a career off doing hot takes that has divided many in the NBA community. And this could just be another entry in that category from the analyst.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) April 7, 2021
However, there may just be some truth to those words as well. Kevin Durant, in the time he has played, has looked like a top-3 player in the league at the very least. And while many have said that James Harden is the MVP this season, his performances in the playoffs are well documented.
Even Kyrie Irving is at his best playing a secondary role on a championship team, even if he may not like it. At the end of the day, despite all the superstars that the team has amassed, Kevin Durant could indeed be the most important to the franchise.