Raja Bell: Kevin Durant could surpass Michael Jordan as the greatest one-on-one player ever
Kevin Durant had a . He scored 43 points, pulled down 13 rebounds, and dished out seven assists in a superhuman effort to push the Warriors to a 3-0 lead over the Cavaliers. This was the kind of game that will go down in the history books for his legacy.
It also has many wondering what his status is as an all-time great. For CBS Sports NBA analyst Raja Bell, when you take into account size and skill set, Durant has a chance to be the greatest one-on-one player ever: Here is during CBS Sports HQ on Thursday:
He could be at the end of it all. He could be the best one-on-one player in the game. Even with Mike. And I grew up a Michael Jordan fan. The biggest there was. But at that size at 6-11 with the way he can shoot from range. Mike’s game was pretty mid-post to 3-point line. He developed a 3-point shot as he got later in his career. This cat can pull up from 29 feet and knock down a J. He gets to a spot on the court, and although Mike had the fadeaway, he’s straight up and down. At 6-11, no one can contest that. He might not be the best of all time at the end of the day, but he’s going to be in the conversation for best of all-time individual scorers.”
The great thing about Durant as an offensive player is exactly what Bell mentioned: His size. There’s never been a player in NBA history that has the size and length of Durant that can also move the way he does. Durant has a great handle. There isn’t a spot on the floor that he’s afraid to shoot from. When he has the ball in his hand, he can do just about anything with it and because he’s 6-11, it’s impossible to get a good hand on his shot attempts.
What also helps Durant in the one-on-one conversation is that, since joining the Warriors, he’s become an even better defender. Durant is a great rim protector now. He’s shown improvement at containing on the perimeter. He’s always been a great scorer, but he really put himself in the discussion of the greatest one-on-one players ever when his defense reached the level that it is today.