Kevin Durant is a former scoring champion.
It’s that simple.
In the entire history of the NBA, only one former scoring champion, Shaquille O’Neal in 2005, when he was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Miami Heat, switched teams as a starter, and won a championship in his very first year with his new team.
Bob McAdoo did it too, but not as a starter.
By the time McAdoo moved on to chipping with the Los Angeles Lakers his first year there in 1980, his days as a bucket-filling Buffalo Brave were way behind him.
So who does that leave Kevin Durant in common with?
Well, everybody else that switched teams after winning a scoring title.
And unlike former scoring champions Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Lew Alcindor, Michael Jordan and Shaq, Durant will be switching teams without having won a Chip for the team he won the scoring title with.
In fact, the only former scoring champs to win their first Chip both after winning the scoring title and switching teams are *Shaq (I’ll explain), Elvin Hayes, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, LeBron James and McAdoo.
Aside from that, the Warriors are a team that won 73 games without Mr. Durant, a former MVP and come back mostly loaded aside from the loss of starters Harrsion Barnes and Andrew Bogut to the Dallas Mavericks and some would argue that both those dudes are pretty expendable.
Durant’s career numbers are 27.4 ppg scorer on 48% from the field, 7 boards per, and he’s a guy that gets it in from everywhere, can go to the cup, crazy midrange game, can shoot the three, he’s long and can defend, arguably the best small forward in the NBA who’s last name isn’t James.
And why load up, you may wonder, when you’re only likely to find yourself in a rematch with the current champion; a team you led in the Finals 3 games to 1 and were a questionable technical on Draymond Green away from repeating as champions?
That’s exactly why you do load up.
Moreover, you’d load up even if you’d won the thing.
Still, the specter of the scoring title haunts Durant’s chances like the possibility of LeBron putting “The Brotherhood” together in Cleveland.
Scoring champs just don’t blend well with other teammates.
It could be because they’re so used to doing one thing – scoring – it’s hard to accept that the team they’re joining just might not need that particular talent.
Do I even have to mention that Golden State has it’s own and actually current scoring champion, a feller by the name of Steph Curry?
What’s the chances that he’s just grinning to be giving up 5-10 ppg off his average from last year?
Odds are, pretty good, if it’ll get him another title, but would that even be enough?
I mean, even Shaq’s stat that I cited earlier is a bit misleading because Shaq led the league in scoring twice, 1n ’95 as a member of the Orlando Magic, and in ’00, with the Lakers.
So realistically, nobody’s ever done what Durant would be attempting to do, win a Chip as a starter in his first year with a new team as a former champion the first time he ever changed teams.
To make matters worse, Kevin Durant is actually a 4 time scoring champion.