Where does this leave Knicks color commentator Walt Frazier and Kevin Durant, a long-rumored Knicks target?
“Durant, as great a player he is, I would still hold back (giving him credit) because he joined a team that really didn’t need him,” the Knicks legend told SiriusXM NBA Radio on Tuesday. “He’s right there with LeBron, probably would’ve surpassed LeBron as the best player in the game soon, but for him doing that I still don’t give him the full credit that he probably would’ve deserved if he stayed in OKC and won a title with that team.”
Asked where Durant will land on his rankings, Frazier said, “He’s going to be down the list for me because of that. There will be an asterisk next to his name.”
Frazier is far more entrenched in New York than Bowen was in L.A. Frazier’s job is probably safe.
But these comments likely won’t endear the Knicks to Durant. His business partner – Rich Kleiman, a Knicks fan who’s often the connecting link in Durant-New York rumors – certainly took notice:
I doubt Durant would have signed with the Knicks, anyway.
That said, I could also see Durant relishing the opportunity to prove he doesn’t care about criticism. I don’t think he’d sign with the Knicks just to own the haters, but it could be a positive rather than a deterrent.
To Frazier’s point: He’s mostly wrong.
All championships have varying degrees of difficulty. Durant leading the Thunder to a title would have been more impressive than winning with the Warriors. Even if it wasn’t his primary motivation, he did take the easy route by joining Golden State. But that doesn’t invalidate Durant’s championships. He still earned those. Deciding whose championships have asterisks gets plenty problematic in a hurry, as the discussion would have to extend far beyond Durant.
And Durant wasn’t LeBron James, anyway. Durant is an all-time great. LeBron is in the running as the all-time greatest.