LeBron James made headlines just a day after the 2017 NBA Finals when he had never played on a “super team.” As ridiculous as that was, Kevin Durant’s claim that he neither had played on a “super team,” took things to a whole nother level.
Here’s what Durant said, via ESPN:
“First of all, if everybody wanted Steph, he would have been the No. 1 pick,” Durant said. “A lot of people passed on him. A lot of people doubted Steph, saying he wasn’t going to be this good. Klay Thompson, he was just supposed to be this OK shooter in the league, like that’s what you thought of Klay Thompson when he came in. Draymond, nobody wanted him. He was a 6-5 power forward. [They said] he couldn’t play in the league, he couldn’t start in the NBA. Shaun Livingston had a crazy knee injury.
“Nobody wanted him. Nobody thought that he would get back to being Shaun Livingston. Andre Iguodala, he got traded a couple of times. Nobody wanted him. A lot of people didn’t expect these guys to be where they are today. Superteam? No, we just work extremely well together. Coach puts us in position to maximize our strengths.”
Durant didn’t join the Warriors as they were struggling to come up with an identity, as Curry struggled through ankle issues or Green tried to find his footing.
Instead, he came to a Golden State team that broke the single-season record for wins, rattled off an NBA Championship in 2015 and looked poised to climb back atop with the with or without Durant.
The claim that they’re just a team that works really well together should be taken with a massive grain of salt, alongside the idea that they had three All-Stars on the team and Andre Iguodala was once the go-to player for another franchise (Philadelphia 76ers).
If Durant has a claim for not being a “super team,” so does James. But that’s an absolutely ridiculous idea in and of itself.
Despite playing with two other All-Stars on both the NBA Champion 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2012, 2013 Miami Heat he is convinced that he has somehow never played for a “super team.”
So James is saying that playing with two All-Stars in Kyrie Irving — a former No. 1 overall pick — and one-time MVP candidate Kevin Love as well as superior role players like Kyle Korver, JR Smith, Iman Shumpert and Tristan Thompson does not constitute a “super team” in this day and age. Irving was probably the third-best player in the series behind Durant and James. You could even argue that Love was the fourth-best considering how poorly Curry and Thompson played for stretches there.
Apparently him starting “The Heatles” and reigniting the “Big 3” movement wasn’t him joining a super team either. It’s not like he was playing with a former NBA Champion in Dwyane Wade and an All-Star in Chris Bosh. He also had a similar supporting cast in Ray Allen, Chris Andersen, James Jones, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier and Rashard Lewis. So his claim of not playing on a super team seems pretty invalid.
James also threw some serious shade at his teammates and the effort they gave throughout the series with this telling quote:
He used the phrase “for me personally” twice just to make sure he separated himself from the team. That’s not a good look even after a tough series loss like this for James.