Stephen A. Smith, the American sports television personality and co-host of ESPN’s First Take, recently said on the morning sports show that the Golden State Warriors need Kevin Durant more than he needs them, per The Chestnut Post.
“I think they need him. I don’t think they’d win the championship without Kevin Durant. That’s number one. Number two, we’re talking about one of the great, great players in the history of this game.”
“A career 27-7 guy, career-wise,” he continued. “Career 29 points per game in the post-season; career 49 percent shooter from the field; career 38 percent shooter from three-point range. career 88 percent shooter from the free throw line.”
Smith added that while he believes Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter ever, and Klay Thompson is the greatest shooting backcourt player he’s ever seen, Durant is the key to bringing the Warriors a championship win. He added that this was arguably true last season, and is definitely true in the current season.
The sports radio host also said that as prolific as the Warriors are, and as wise as it would be for Durant to stay on the team, the unquestionable reality is that he is the difference between the team being a contender and being champions. Smith added that the Milwaukee Bucks would be a shoo-in to win the championship this year if the Warriors didn’t have Durant.
Since KD said "I'm Kevin Durant. You know who I am" on April 17th, he's scored 38, 33, 45, 50 and 35 on 54.5 percent shooting. pic.twitter.com/z1C7Vadtil
— Parakeet Cortes (@Ryan_Cortes) April 28, 2019
Durant recently made the news with his response to a question about his one-on-one’s with Patrick Beverley of the Los Angeles Clippers, who has defined his NBA career by being one of the most irritating defenders. On many occasions, Beverly’s defense tactics have led to technical fouls handed to both him and Durant. But SB Nation reports that when Durant was asked why he doesn’t just shoot over Beverly, who is 6-foot-1 to Durant’s 7-feet, his response unveiled a new side of the NBA star.
Durant said that shooting over Beverly isn’t fun basketball, and if he shot 43 percent from the field against someone like Beverly, he would leave his teammates out and harm the outcome of the game, adding that the goal is always to win the game.
“So I’m not gonna get in the way of the game because I wanna have a little back-and-forth with Patrick Beverley.”
“I’m Kevin Durant,” he added, reminding the interviewer that everyone knows who he is and why he plays.
The Warriors’ small forward also said that he respects Beverly’s craft, and doesn’t mind the way that he approaches the game.