There is no denying Kevin Durant’s plethora of weapons. He can score from almost anywhere on the floor. He plays tougher than maybe he really is. And no one ever questioned his heart when he played for the Texas Longhorns.
Oklahoma City Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo said last week that he has never met a kid who had more drive and dedication to the sport and his body to become a perennial winner.
But every coach says that about their best player. The question now becomes, in a league of so many determined and driven men who want to win, who’s in and who’s out.
The NBA is stacked with young guys with 6'9" wingspans. Not since perhaps Magic and Bird in the early 1980s have we seen this much young and explosive talent in the NBA.
The question of whether or not Mr. Durant will win a league MVP award is too uncertain to answer. I could sit here and plead his case for why he should win one in the next three to five years. A constant scorer, he’s averaging 20+ points per. In his last three games he scored 37, 20, and 24. But again, no one ever questioned the ease with which KD can score.
If Durant can improve on his rebounding and defense (of which he has none) then he of course has a chance to win the Maurice Podoloff trophy. Unfortunately for Durant, so does everyone else in the league. Kobe Bryant spent 10 years ripping nets and balls from defenders' grasps before capturing his first MVP hardware in 2007-2008
If you were to ask Durant about his chances of winning an MVP award he would say he could care less. And it’s true.
Durant wants to win an NBA title just like the next and the next and the next guy. So what realistic chance does Durant have of winning?
Math was never my strong suit, but let's go to the formula.
Every league MVP award since the 1982-1983 season has been won by a player who participated on a 50 or more win team, except for Karl Malone who won the award in 1998-1999 in which the regular season was shortened to 50 games because of the lockout.
Durant has all the components to capture the league MVP award but his supporting cast must also play better and win games for him to even be considered. MVPs don’t play on losing or non-playoff teams. It’s a hard fact, but if you look back at past winners those two pieces are vital to being called the Most Valuable Player.
If you are a great player but can’t lead your team to a string of victories then how could you be the MOST valuable?
If Durant stays at Oklahoma City he will need a supporting cast to help him. If the Thunder can win games, like a lot of them, then those additional accolades should and usually do take care of themselves.
Would Jordan have won five league titles without Scottie Pippen? Well, yeah maybe. Okay, so Durant is no Jordan, but to win games and an MVP he does need his Pippen.