Durant Doesn’t Deserve A Pass, Only Time





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Kevin Durant is not getting a pass around here. No excuses, no pardon, exoneration or any other escape hatch for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s failures in these NBA playoffs.

There will be no handouts for Durant or any other superstar who falls down on the big stage. Durant should be held to the same standard all of his contemporaries, past and present, have been held to in the annals of this game. You either win it all or you go home with nothing. It’s a fair trade-off and one that all superstars sign off on when they play.

That said, the rush to judge Durant after he struggled against the Memphis Grizzlies without Russell Westbrook is overcooked dramatically. The Thunder’s 3-6 postseason mark without Westbrook, who saw a torn meniscus in his knee end his season in the first round against Houston, says more about Westbrook’s value to his team than it does about Durant’s inability to lift them up on his own.

This notion that a lone superstar of any ilk will lead his team to a championship is a longstanding myth that needs to be debunked. It almost never happens. Not at the NBA level. Not in the past 40 years or so. The only exceptions to that statement might be the Hakeem Olajuwon-led Houston Rockets of 1993-94 and the Dirk Nowitzki-led Dallas Mavericks of 2010.

Magic Johnson didn’t do it alone. Larry Bird didn’t do it alone. Isiah Thomas didn’t do it alone. Michael Jordan didn’t do it alone. Shaquille O’Neal didn’t do it alone. Tim Duncan didn’t do it alone. And the list goes on.

Kobe Bryant had help (in the form of Pau Gasol and others) after serving as Shaq’s superstar partner and LeBron James tried to break the mold in Cleveland, only to find out that he needed Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to seal the deal.

Contrary to Twitter wisdom, there is no shame in recognizing and realizing that reality. This need for someone to blame when things go wrong isn’t a new phenomenon. But it’s taken on epic proportions in the social media age. That’s why it’s fine to point out Durant’s breakdowns against the Grizzlies without absolving him of all responsibility.

He struggled mightily against a complete team that might not have a superstar of his caliber on its roster but is stronger collectively — something especially true when Durant’s superstar partner is out of commission. Jordan knows that better than anyone, having failed repeatedly against the Bad Boys Pistons before he and Scottie Pippen were able to finally stare down that demon.

Trials and tribulation are generally a prerequisite for NBA championship contention. The Grizzlies served that up aplenty in their conference semifinal conquest. Durant was met with defender after defender. He was the focal point of a Grizzlies defensive attack for which he and the Thunder had no counter-punch.

But that doesn’t mean you write Durant off now, not after all that he’s accomplished before his 25th birthday.

It’s not like he laid down for the Grizzlies anyway. He played 46 minutes a night in the series, averaged 29 points, 10.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.2 blocks, all done — save for Kevin Martin‘s Game 1 outburst — without any consistent supporting cast assistance. And basically every game went down to the wire. Durant, Westbrook and James Harden barely survived a seven-game series with these Grizzlies a couple of years ago, so there is no shame in falling to them under these circumstances.

To his credit, Durant stood up and accepted all of the blame. He didn’t shirk his responsibility as the Thunder’s leader. And with his track record and work ethic, you know his rigorous offseason routine will be fueled by this most recent failure.

His sudden crowd of detractors will, of course, label him and suggest that he just doesn’t have the fire or mean streak to be a champion because he chose to view this latest setback like the adult that he is. No, it’s not the end of his world. He doesn’t view the entire season as a complete waste of time, like Kobe claims he does when his season ends without confetti and a championship parade.

Save the drama, folks. You don’t have to give Durant a pass … he doesn’t want one and doesn’t deserve one.

Just give him the time to right whatever went wrong.

If he’s half the superstar you thought he was before this postseason, you won’t be disappointed.

87 Comments

  1. NBAfan says:

    Feeling sorry for Durant but this should be a wake up call for him. This is what being Kobe feels like…you have to carry the team on your own…

    Sekou…you’re funny…Kobe had Pau AND OTHERS?

    Pau is an all-star, but not a superstar that’s for sure!

  2. thunderup says:

    durant is not lebron hes second to lebron.Lebron got bashed cause he got to Finals the didnt show.durant had two bad games the whole playoffs. he cant do it by himself. Daniel gibson was like a superstar in those playoffs with alot of timely threes the pushed clevlend to couple wins.Durant i not lebron .lebron is not durant but NOBODY does it by there self. that why your part of a team.

  3. Seriously? says:

    Come on seriously..who chews gum in an interview it sounds disgusting in the micro-phone.

  4. Jeremiah jones says:

    Its just a stepn stone stone 4 durant/wesbrook/there young and have many seasons 2 redeem themselves!

  5. christopher says:

    I think thart the thunder is a one on one team with westbrook and darant they will never win a championship without team work thats how the grizzlis are playing

    V

  6. Mavsgirl says:

    Oh and don’t forget that Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks to the finals in 2006. Talk about willing a mediocre team to the finals. Durant reminded me so much of ‘early’ Dirk these playoffs. I really wanted to see him succeed. He will grow and continue to improve from this loss.

  7. theholyspectator says:

    great learning experience for KD, it wasnt his fault..a lot was asked of him in a short amount of time and it was asked of him in the most crucial moments of a season, the playoffs. this whole situation should have opened up the management eyes of okc..they gotta get better role players in there, cuz literally none of them were noticeable..youd think with a guy like kmart and reggie jackson, sefalosha, ibaka their should have been plenty of offense to support KD, but their wasnt…same for the defense..i truly feel if harden was still on that team they woulda pushed it to a game 7 and it coulda went either way but a game 7 in OKC woulda pushed them over and theyd be facing the spurs right now…..harden can get his own shot and get to the line..he was the 6th man on that team last year. time to enter the market and see what they can pick up..and also as long as lebron is still around with the big 3 in miami, okc is not winning a title..you can bet on that

  8. Janet says:

    The only way is to remember that Basketball is a team sport. Every member on the team has to play there role so as to fulfill the teams ultimate goal.KD may take the responsibility like any good leader has to in case things go wrong, but the rest of the thunder team has got to step up and play their roles to the best of their ability. there were times when Kevin was locked down and the rest of his team mates on court stood, instead of helping to create options. The Thunder team has got to learn the next man in line policy, where in case the person you are playing with the same role is out for any reason, you should be able to step up and cover the gap. As we put pressure on these players to be exceptional, let us not forget that they are human.
    As an OKC fan, I have faith that OKC team will be able to learn from their situations and raise to the occasion. Just have a little faith more in the team.

  9. lafan says:

    I think the loss of Westbrook hurt the OKC mainly because it happened late in the season and didn’t give the team time to adapt, which makes the biggest difference, i feel like OKC had enough talent to go further, only if they had more time to adapt to a team without Westbrook, but then again i don’t think they would have still won without him. Is kinda like Lakers, losing Kobe right before the playoffs was a big set back, destroyed the whole system of the team.

  10. spin says:

    I am not an OKC or Miami fan, but there si something i want to share.
    James and Durant are very good players and they get millions of dollars.
    For the past years it is clear for me that press and most of the people have different “treatment” among those guys.
    Yes James is much more arrogant in terms of attitude so yes me too i like better the attitude of Kevin Durant who seems like a nice guy.

    But looking at the achievements it is perfectly clear that the way the press treated James after loosing the finals against Dallas is way too different that what everybody is saying for Durant. Durant is probably the nicest guy but his salary is so big that no Harden or any other player can fit the team. So yes he is 100% responsible foe the failures of OKC at least for the past two years.

    As for Lebron. I feel that the press and fans attitude is : if Miami wins again, ok well done, if they lose we are waiting in the corner to write about the king with only one ring and stuff like that.

  11. Sintido kumon says:

    I agree that durant is a beast,and deserves all the love from the fans…I just can’t believe why it’s different with melo,the guy has brought the nuggets to every playoff since his rookie year but people bash him for not going deep into the playoffs…the guy was playing in an era of the spurs,lakers,dallas and suns…now KD didn’t go far and it’s ok cos Westbrook was injured,but people keeps bashing melo for not taking the nuggets far is hypocrisy…

  12. Anon says:

    YOU PEOPLE FORGET THAT KD (& THE REST OF THE OKC ROSTER) HAD TO ADJUST TO LIFE WITHOUT WESTBROOK, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PLAYOFFS. & FOR A GREAT PERCENTAGE OF THE TIME, HE WAS DOING IT AGAINST THE BEST & MEANEST DEFENSE IN THE ENTIRE LEAGUE. YOU TALK ABOUT HOW OTHER STARS (E.G LEBRON) WENT FARTHER, WITH WEAKER SUPPORTING CASTS, BUT YOU FORGET THAT THEY PLAYED WITH THOSE PLAYERS (& IN THOSE SYSTEMS) THROUGHOUT THE REGULAR SEASON, AND WOULD’VE BUILT A BETTER CHEMISTRY AS A RESULT. KD HAD PLAYED OVER 80% OF HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER WITH WESTBROOK BY HIS SIDE, & PRIOR TO THE OKC-HOUSTON SERIES, WESTBROOK HAD NEVER MISSED A GAME.
    THE PG IS ALSO ARGUABLY THE MOST CRITICAL POSITION IN THE NBA, & A CHANGE IN GUARD (ESPECIALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PLAYOFFS) IS SURE TO LEAVE ANY TEAM STRUGGLING.

  13. usbuck says:

    Durant has been exposed and Westbrook has been exonerated! Basketball is a team sport. Moreover, LBJ should be exonerated for past criticism and apologized to by Skip Bayless. Durant is a great player, person and teammate but he is 3-4 years from a title? LeBron is just too good–plain and simple!

  14. hecklerandkoch says:

    You’re the man KD.

  15. Thunder4life says:

    This is a blessing in disguise I think. Because Reggie Jackson’s game improved and I think Presti should trade perkins Unless he improves his scoring. Perkins can defend but he is slow that almost every offensive layer blows by him

  16. SuddenImpact says:

    Way to Go, Durant!! You did a GREAT job all season long AND in the Playoffs!! But nobody can win any game individually and you played excellent, considering what you were left to work with after Westbrook was injured (which, in my opinion, was a planned-out cheap shot). There’s a reason it’s called a TEAM… if a game could be won with just ONE player, there’d be no need for anyone else on the court… Don’t be so hard on yourself!

    And to COACH BROOKS, what are you thinking??? Why do you sit your star shooters out when we need them out there SCORING!!! Can’t make any points if you’re on the bench!! As for the rest of the team, you need to STEP UP or STEP OUT!!!

    Hats off and much applause to OKC THUNDER!!! You will be a STAR team and when Westbrook heals and is back on the court, the other teams better LOOK OUT!!!!

  17. KaplanLBJGF says:

    people just keep on forgetting that Pippen was a rookie when he was paired with MJ. That his skills developed as a complement to MJ’s game. He became a superstar playing along MJ. MJ is not like Lebron who paired up with franchise players Wade and Bosh, or Kobe getting Pau (and yeah, Kobe developed his game being around Shaq). Unlike these two, MJ has to wait while fighting everyday just to keep them afloat. Then Pip, Grant, Paxon, Armstrong developed to be the players they are, thus winning the first 3 rings.

    • makreation says:

      Jordan said himself that we wouldn’t have won as many championships as he did without Pippen. Your argument is invalid sir.

    • makreation says:

      D-wade and Bosh are certainly playing like top tier players this season and last…Oh wait!

    • bigwes95 says:

      He didn’t become a superstar until MJ left for the first time. he never made the all star teams or anything until Jordan left the first time, and then he came second in MVP voting. and if you want to say Jordan waited, then so did Lebron, he left after his 7th year, MJ had a great team by then that would have won at least 35 games if Jordan left. the year Jordan won his first championship was his 7th! Lebron waited the same amount of time but the organization didn’t get players to complement him. so saying that MJ waited any longer than LeBron is false, as he actually didn’t wait nearly as long considering his team made improvements every year. you’re argument is terrible and you’re probably just a MJ worshipper. it’s funny how you just dismiss Kobe because a good player came to his team, like Gasol. Gasol has changed around Kobe and developed more under Kobe than people think, as he stands up for himself more often and doesn’t care what people are saying about him like he used to. MJ never had to pair up with people, he was given them, same as Durant, Magic, Bird, Kareem, Duncan, and all these players. they got them through the draft and are lucky, but players who leave to get a better team is looked down upon because they weren’t given these other HOF type players. it’s not their fault.

    • KaplanLBJGF says:

      @makreation… MJ recognizes his team mates contribution to winning, as a good leader should. This is still a team game. But the argument ain’t invalid. DWade and Bosh we’re franchise players before they teamed up with LBJ, so the capabilities are still there.

      @bigwes95… not an MJ worshipper, but I do appreciate his leadership that was seen throughout his era. Call it luck, but what happened still is that MJ did not whine every year of having young, inexperienced team mates. He just played until they developed around him.

      The difference between him and LBJ/Kobe is that the two have this sense of entitlement that the management SHOULD “surround” them with star players that would complement their game. Its a known fact that these two constantly whined, with Kobe threatening to leave the team, and LBJ eventually did. The Cleveland management has been doing a lot of line-up changes since they got swept by the Spurs, but it seems that they aren’t good enough, because LBJ was looking for guys that are already franchise-player good, which he found in Wade and Bosh. Have you witnessed Kobe’s greatness after his tandem with Shaq was broken??? How about his absense in the playoffs against Phoenix, where he chose not to shoot nor even touch the ball just to show everyone that they won’t win unless he shoots???

      Kobe and LBJ’s skills and talents are undeniable, I won’t even argue that they do have more lethal offensive skills than MJ had. But leadership? Nah. These kids are whiners.

  18. WanShu says:

    The other players should be taking the blame for their poor play.

  19. Dale Cooper says:

    Love this kid, man. I feel like with him and LeBron at the forefront the league is in great hands.

  20. ummmm, Perkins says:

    im an OKC fan and im happy this happened. it may actually stress the ISSUE of our bigs having problems… Ibaka will get better hes only young, he can shoot the 18ft jumper, but they dont space out enough because Perkins clogs up the paint too much and rarely rotates quick enough anymore because hes been around a long time. plus ibaka and perk dont communicate enough.
    Scott Brooks needs to learn rotation ball and stop relying on the gifted abilities of KD and Rus playing iso ball to win. OKC constantly have good players they NEVER play. Like Charles said, teams have that player that just comes out and blows everyone away and its hard when OKC dont allow these players to actually play in the rotation….
    More is learnt in a loss than a win, hopefully this is the perfect time for them to build on what they have, fix the weaknesses and come back next year and have another go.

  21. Tyrone says:

    I feel bad for every team whose chances for success were reduced or taken out by injuries – i.e. Lakers, Celtics, Thunder, Timberwolves, etc

    Lots of respect for Durant, he’s going to be a total beast next year with the attitude he’s displaying

  22. james says:

    the memphis got lucky the okc whould’ve woned if the reggi jackson had not hogged

  23. Heatr#1 says:

    Forget the spurs look at the heat they lost to the mavs in 2011 with Bron wade and bosh all are all-stars so…..
    It ain’t necessary all-star teams r going to win.

  24. Kimmy says:

    Kevin Durant is the best!!!!

  25. REAL_TALK says:

    Durant is not a leader ! a good shooter point blank.

  26. OmgKD says:

    KD FAILED.

    Lebron did so much more with a MUCH MUCH worse team, in cleveland. Mo Wiliams were their second best player, and it wasn’t even close. Remember Cleveland after he left? OKC is a playoff team without Durant. Cleveland got what.. 10 wins? LOL

  27. mr2cents says:

    I hate that Durant is getting a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. When LeBron was in Cleveland, had he put up an egg like that, he’d be smeared like poo on a white wall. Durant hides behind LeBron’s shadows. What do I mean? LeBron is doing so well this year with his team, that nobody will put the hammer down on Durant’s lack-luster performance.

    • Alphacuz says:

      Read it again before bringing Lebron into the mix. Lebron in no doubt is the best player in the NBA, and he got the MVP which he deserved and the Heat are favourites rightfully so. KD is not LEBRON !!! LEBRON IS LEBRON, enough with the woe is me for LEBRON. KD is judged on the performance he displayed in the playoffs and the load he carried, did he fail ? yes but it proved that Westbrook helps share the load with him, and Brooks needs to get a better support cast for OKC, Martin was on and off, Perk has close to no offensive power, Ibaka needs to balance his D with his scoring and to be honest OKC need to go hunting in the off season for a scoring Center and Power foward if they want to contend. Harden offered the rotating offensive punch when the 2nd unit jumped on the court in the 11-12 series. All credit to the Grizz there D was tough and they deserved to win, i think Miami will hope the Spurs knock them out as Tony Allen will be all over Chalmers and Lebron, and Z-Bo has a better low post game and presence then Bosh.

    • Winston says:

      Remember sports fans “team! team!! team!!” the coach screams. You win and lose as a team. With a good part of this team was sitting on the bench it becomes a mathamatica equation. Westbrook (minus replacement lack of scoreing) = loss.

    • MindRight says:

      It’s obvious you didn’t read the article. KD isn’t getting a “get out of jail free” card. “lack-luster”? are you serious?? he had a few bad games in the playoffs which we have all accepted and definitely has room for improvement which once again we have all accepted, but not before having a great regular season and continuing to improve. I really believe some Lebron fans just see stars smh

    • TrueBalls says:

      Because Durant is humble. He didn’t brag to everyone that he’ll win championships in OKC because he is great, unlike Lebron who’s still immature during that time, promising he will deliver rings to Cleveland. Lebron in his younger years is BOASTFUL that’s why people bash him when his team fails the playoffs. And hey, I think Lebron in mature enough now, especially after losing the title last two years.

  28. Carpel says:

    Kevin Durant is a beast

  29. Unkle Daddy says:

    Ya, I think he does have a little excuse Jordan never did it without Scottie, Magic never did it without Kareem… Not saying he and Westbrook are on that level yet, and they may never be, but you get my point.

  30. I think Russell Westbrook did lack in the team and I did not agree with the change of James Harden.

  31. Hadj says:

    Someone tell Kevin Durant to be more aggressive, drive to the basket every other time or at least after two missed jumpers. That’s how you play the game especially when you’re 24 yrs old…that’s the point.

    Now when he’ll turn 33 then perhaps he can settle for more jumpers and sky hooks or something but for now he has to take it up to the rim…as an excellent free throw shooter he would average 35 pts easily during the playoffs if he would just take it in the paint and stop playing as if he was scared.

    That’s how Lebron beat OKC last year…by being aggressive and taking it to the rim, eventually even the best defenders start to accumulate fouls and the attacker ends up at the line collecting easy points: LEARN FROM THAT DURANT!

    Also, can someone feed Durant some potatoes or some meat because the way the Grizzlies manhandled him made me feel uncomfortable. They shook him like a ragdoll everytime he had the ball, Durant needs to look at tapes of Karl Malone coming down the lane (guys would get out of the way)…now I realize Durant may never get Malone’s frame but he needs to build some muscle in order to increase his NBA durability and his quest for rings.
    No he can’t do it alone but he can’t afford to lose the last game of his playoffs with 21 points…and a bunch of zero points quarters…what the heck is that? ….that’s just pitiful

  32. Renee says:

    So what Kevin Durant,does his best and sometimes things don’t work out as planned.He is still young and will come back even stronger next season.It is not good to judge someone else’s downfall because no one is perfect.I really do wish the best for Kevin Durant and his team.

  33. Arco says:

    It says the 2010 Mavs in the article. They won in 2011 actually :))

  34. W/E says:

    Considering the competition its gunna be tough for OKC to get a ring in the near future.

  35. DutchNBAfan says:

    *And Yes MAYBE to the finals (like lebron in cleveland)

  36. DutchNBAfan says:

    First of all: pakya….did you read the article? my guess is you didn’t
    He mentioned Hakeem and the houston rockets as an example it can be done with a single superstar on the team, winning a title that is..And most of you didn’t read it or didn’t read it thorrowly..he isn’t critical in a sense that he’s bashing KD, he just makes a point it isn’t realistic to think someone can bring a team to the finals on his own… there’s always a debate going on saying: you can’t win a title without a superstar, and if that’s not the debate people are saying: there’s no superstar that can win on his own… The pistons won it in 2004 without a superstar, but that’s the exception and dirk and hakeem are exceptions to, but they had a terriffic supporting cast, you never do it all on your own, unless your kobe in the years he dind’t win anything and by the way, hope all the critics of lebron appreciate now what he did in cleveland with that trash around him, no other superstars, no good suppporting cast and still went to the finals, Superstars bring teams with no other superstars and no supporting cast to the playoffs and maybe to the second round, or MAYBE conference finals…no Title… Look at KG in minnesota for example everyone needs help even a MJ, LJ,KD, TD etc.

  37. Tamara says:

    Durant is one of the best players in the league, but needless to say he needs his ROBIN (Westbrook). Everyone wants to say he cant win with Westbrook, but he cant win without him. OKC has 2 superstars. We will get them next year.

    • Datboydove says:

      Very true, I have been critical of Westbrook in past noting that (at times) he can hurt you a little more than he can help you. He stepped up big in last years finals and shut me up a little bit. But after seeing the Thunder without him this year I’m speechless, I’m a true believer in him now. I still think they would’ve had a difficult time with him on the floor against Memphis because in my opinion the Grizz are just that good.

  38. gatormax says:

    Get your facts right. The Mavericks won in 2011, not 2010. And they had Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler. That’s not bad for a supporting cast.

    • Chris says:

      Yes but neither of them were close to Superstar status or stats at that point and Nowitzki really had to do almost all the heavy lifting offensively especially in the clutch

      • Game Time says:

        Dirk had a lot of help, and people downplay it. Four of the guys on that team were All-Stars at least 3x, with one being a shooting champ 2x, a 6th man, a future all-star center and DPOY, and one of the greatest PGs of the past ten years. The only reason the championship is so unique to people is because Dirk is not always in the limelight, and it was against one of the most hated athletes at the time. Not taking any credit away from what Dirk did because he stepped up and seized his moment.

  39. boki says:

    How can you go to your final speech and chew that gum…….
    Teach yourself some manners …

  40. Winston says:

    When people are critical of our wars in writing I am in the mind get a rifle or pen to the front lines before you write it. The same holds true here. Get a ball in your hand and play in the playoffs against the Spurs, Heat,Memphis before writing a artical this critical.

  41. Ro says:

    Sekou did say ‘almost never happens’. Im not an English professor, but i think that means it can happen or has happened before?
    You can’t say the 2003 Spurs had multiple superstars. Duncan yes. DRob’s numbers were barely noticable. Same with Jackson’s and Manu’s, Parker was young and not even close to what he is now. And last time i checked, Bruce Bowen was never considered a superstar! So yeah, Duncan did it without another SUPERstar. Just look at the 2003 numbers for the other guys, mediocre at best. I’m not even a Spurs fan really, but let’s not be ignorant.

  42. Bodie says:

    I love KD, I think he’s the second or at worst, third best player in the L and a superstar in every sense of the word. That said, the fact that he couldn’t do much by himself should make us valu the superstars we had that played all by themselves and made something out of it. I’m basically talkin about Iverson but theres a few others.. You ask somebody these days they’ll tell you LeBron and KD are up there with the greatest… But none of the players today can really do nothing by themselves.. Kobe in his prime couldnt go further than the first round when he was the only star in LA. The homie A.I. carried a OK team to the finals and he was the only player that could score.. this postseason’s thunder were way better than the 01 sixers.. I dont want yall to think “here comes THAT dude that gotta always talk about iverson”… im just sayin

    • bigwes95 says:

      Iverson was awesome to watch and really inspired most of the point guards today as they try and do moves he did. he did stuff MJ did but faster and he was a better shooter than a lot of people realized. of course he also had a good team with a defensive player of the year and 2nd or 3rd in blocks for NBA history and of course the MVP of the year. there was no way they would win the Lakers. KD isn’t one of the greatest, Lebron is, he’s not close to being the greatest unless he wins another 3 championships in my opinion, I don’t believe you need 6 to match Jordan, because Jordan doesn’t match Russell, but LeBron is based on his accomplishments right now and his impact on a team. only player that could bring a team to the conference finals at least, every year by themselves today is Lebron, no one else comes close to how they affect a team.

      • Game Time says:

        Great comment.

      • Okckd35 says:

        LeBron also played in a very weak eastern conference those years. Only real threat the Cleveland years was Boston. He would have not made it past Dallas, LA Lakers, Spurs. As they all demolished him in the Finals.

  43. okc360 says:

    KD will always be one of the best no matter if he takes okc to the finals or not

  44. Jarrod says:

    Bill R. did it 11 times.

    • bigwes95 says:

      Win without another superstar? what about Cousy, Heinsohn, Sam and KC Jones, Sharman, havlicek, Embry, and Jo Jo White? white was never a superstar, same with Sherman and KC, but the others were superstars if you count someone like Nash (in his prime) and Dwight Howard and Paul Peirce (in his prime) superstars. if you never have, then you don’t know basketball? and maybe Cowen’s also for Russell playing with, but I think Russell retired the year cowens came so they never played together.

  45. nasco says:

    I agree with Smith, we don’t need to crucify him.

  46. nick says:

    timmy had ginobilly,parker,bowen,robinson so he had a lot of help…timmy and kobe are top 10 kobe top 5…durant should see lakers 2000-2002 thats the trick…shaq is durant steady dominant…but westbrook is kobe…agressive explosive and out of control which is not always bad…

    • bigwes95 says:

      i’d put Duncan over kobe for who is higher on the greatest list and best player of this generation, or last now that a new one is coming in

  47. Terrence McNally says:

    Rick Barry, Golden State Warriors, 1974-75!

  48. Game Time says:

    Duncan was the main reason San Antonio won, but look at the names on that roster. Parker, Manu, Robinson, Malik Rose, Bowen, Speedy, Kerr, Steve Smith. Same goes for Dallas in 2011. They had a well rounded team with no big holes in any position. I give more credit to Hakeem in 94 because his 2nd and 3rd best players were Vernon Maxwell and Robert Horry.

  49. luke says:

    Sekou, Tim Duncan in 2003. It’s ridiculous how the so-called experts keep overlooking his accomplishments. What a shame

    • 85/96 says:

      Tony Parker? Ginobili? David Robinson? Tim Duncan is an underrated legend to the general public, I’ll agree with that. But no way did he win a 2003 championship with little help on his own.

    • dattebayo says:

      In 2003, Tim Duncan had Parker, Ginobili, Jackson, Robinson, Bowen, Kerr and Smith. You wanna tell me they were all washed up (Robinson, Smith, Kerr) or too inexperienced (Parker, Ginobili) and that Duncan won the championship on his own?

    • BL29 says:

      are you serious Luke? lol.. the 2003 spurs roster had David Robinson, Manu, Parker, Stephen Jackson and Bruce Bowen.. I count 3/4 superstars

      • alp says:

        some people don’t know a THING about basketball… lukes comment isn’t even worth responding to.

    • sosa says:

      Duncan has never been alone. NEVER

    • Stern H8r says:

      What’s ridiculous is to say that SA has EVER won a championship where one player carried them. They play team ball…always have. That year they had 4 players averaging double figures and three more that were close to that…and they had one of the greatest benches of all time. They had a Hall of Famer who was contributing 20+ minutes in David Robinson. When all is said and done…that team will easily have 5 players in the hall of fame. But the greater point is that San Antonio under Pop plays team ball…you should watch some of their games sometime.

    • SoulChorea says:

      Tony Parker. It’s equally ridiculous how so-called fans keep overlooking his accomplishments. FOR SHAME

    • Gonex says:

      Tony Parker, Manu, Robinson…

    • Cornell says:

      Maybe it’s because David Robinson (top-50 all-time player) was still on that team. You can’t claim that Duncan carried his team to a title as a lone superstar when he had a teammate who was top-50 all-time on that team.

      • bigwes95 says:

        Robinson: 8.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.8 bpg, and 1.1 spg.
        career averages: 21.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 3.0 bpg, and 1.4 spg.

        Manu: 7.6 ppg, 2.0 apg.2.3 rpg, 1.4 spg, 0.2 bpg.
        career averages: 15ppg, 4.0 apg,3.9 rpg, 1.5 spg, 0.4 bpg

        Parker: 9.2 ppg, 4.3 apg, 2.6 rpg, 1.2 spg, and 0.1 bpg
        career averages: 17.1 ppg, 6.0 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, and 0.1 bpg

        Stephen Jackson: 11.8 ppg, 2.3 apg, 3.6 rpg, 1.6 spg, and 0.4 bpg.
        Career averages: 15.3 ppg, 3.1 apg, 3.9 rpg, 1.3 spg, and 0.4 bpg

        Yep, Duncan really played with some superstars this year? just because players were or are superstars doesn’t mean they were in 2003, much like these players show you, that they either got a lot better or worse and retired. so yes, Duncan was the only superstar on that team. seriously, look at all their averages, they are down from their career, some are half of their career averages.

      • bigwes95 says:

        and these are their averages in 2003, not just some random year, the upper averages for every person for those who can’t see that

    • Spurs follower says:

      The big fundamental had manu and parker on championship #2 on 2003.

  50. LabMonkey says:

    No superstar in Memphis, does it mean they can’t win the championship then?

    • Truth says:

      Read it again you monkey, it says a superstar alone can’t win without support of others, never said you need a superstar on the team. In fact your better off with a bunch of stronger supporting players than 1 superstar (LBJ) and a bunch of garbage around them.

    • baller says:

      they have zach randolph and marc gasol who were both all stars as well as a good backcourt in conley and tony allen