Kevin Durant pieced together a masterful postseason performance this year, nearly leading the injury-plagued Brooklyn Nets to a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals. Despite his efforts, the team fell short in a thrilling overtime Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks, bringing an end to the 32-year-old’s playoff run.
The Nets star didn’t waste any time in announcing his new basketball venture. Soon after the team’s elimination, he committed to play for Team USA at this summer’s Olympics.
Durant will reunite with his former NBA head coach Steve Kerr this July, who will be a member of Gregg Popovich’s staff in Tokyo. The Golden State Warriors coach clearly enjoyed watching the Nets star throughout the playoffs and recently called him “the most talented basketball player on earth.”
“He just showed he’s the most talented basketball player on earth, if not of all time,” Kerr said, via NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai on Monday. “Honestly. He’s just so gifted. I loved coaching him, and I’m looking forward to doing so again.”
Kevin Durant over Michael Jordan?
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) June 22, 2021
Kerr’s claim will certainly rile up basketball fans loyal to Michael Jordan or LeBron James. However, with Durant’s unique skillset, it’s hard to not include him in the conversation.
At nearly seven-feet tall, the Brooklyn Nets star moves fluidly to create shots on offense, thanks to an ability to handle the ball and rise up over any defender from anywhere on the court. He’s grown into a capable distributor and can protect the rim on the defensive end.
Durant showed off that complete skillset in the series against the Bucks. With Kyrie Irving out for the latter half of the series and James Harden hobbled, Durant averaged 35.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 42.7 minutes per game.
That postseason showing excited Kerr to work alongside his former player again, despite the pair’s split after the 2018-2019 campaign.
“Thrilled to be coaching KD again,” Kerr said. “He gave us three amazing years. It was a wonderful relationship. I know people want to focus on the end when maybe it didn’t finish so well with the injury and his departure, but everything about Kevin and his involvement in the Olympics and coaching him again, it all excites me.”
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