June 23, 2021 | 5:03pm | Updated June 23, 2021 | 5:03pm
Kevin Durant over Michael Jordan?
On the heels of Durant’s stunning playoff performance, Warriors coach Steve Kerr gushed over the Nets star’s skillset at His Airness’ expense.
“I think he’s more gifted, I really do,” Kerr said of Durant when prodded by NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai to compare the two players. “That’s saying something, but Kevin is different … entirely different breed. He’s 6-foot-11 with guard skills, unlimited 3-point range, passing, shot-blocking — his shot-blocking at the rim, it’s just stunning.”
There might not be a better person to compare Durant and Jordan than Kerr, who had a front-row seat to both players in their primes.
Kerr played alongside Jordan across three-plus seasons with the Bulls, spanning Jordan’s return to the organization following his infamous baseball experiment and the team’s “Last Dance” in 1998. Together the pair won three consecutive championships and Jordan, considered by many to be the greatest player of all-time, captured a trio of scoring titles.
On the sidelines, the 55-year-old coached Durant to two championships with the Golden State Warriors from 2017-18, with Durant being named Finals MVP both times.
Durant, an 11-time All-Star, was dominant at times this postseason, despite Brooklyn falling to Milwaukee in the second round.
With a depleted lineup around him, the 32-year-old willed the Nets to a Game 5 victory over the Bucks by posting 49 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and two blocks in 48 minutes. Four nights later, he notched a Game 7 record 48 points in 53 minutes, showing no ill-effects of the ruptured Achilles that sidelined him the previous season.
“He’s just showed he’s the most talented basketball player on earth, if not of all time,” Kerr said. “Honestly He’s just so gifted.”
Kerr and Durant are set to reunite later this summer in the 2020 Olympics, with Durant leading a star-studded Team USA roster and Kerr an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s coaching staff.