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Kevin Durant: Easy to Be Best Player When You Don't Have Good Teammates

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 11, 2018

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, second from left, celebrates after the Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-85 in Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals to win the NBA championship, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Kevin Durant doesn't have a lot of concerns these days after winning back-to-back titles and NBA Finals MVPs, but the Golden State Warriors star has a unique perspective on what it takes to be the best basketball player in the world.

Per Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports, Durant noted it's easier to be great when the talent around you is lacking:

"I feel like it's easy to be the best player when you don't have good players around you. I feel like it's harder to stand out when you have great players around you. I pride myself on standing out wherever I am. I pride myself on working hard wherever I go. And I feel like these guys embraced me and I feel like I'm a Warrior."

Durant received widespread criticism for his decision to sign with the Warriors in the summer of 2016. The team was coming off a 73-win season, though it famously blew a 3-1 lead and lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said at the time that Durant got on the Warriors "gravy train" in an effort to win a championship.

Durant was already one of the NBA's best players prior to signing with Golden State. He won an MVP award with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013-14 and four scoring titles from 2009 to 2014.

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The Warriors swept an overmatched Cavs team in the 2018 Finals. LeBron James averaged 34.0 points, 10.0 assists and 8.5 rebounds in the four games. The rest of Cleveland's starting lineup combined to average 42.8 points and 22.0 rebounds in the series.

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