LeBron James thinks Kevin Durant and Tracy McGrady’s games are similar
Kevin Durant’s tenure with the Golden State Warriors has made it easy to forget just how smooth he can be with the ball in his hands.
There’s an argument to be made, of course, that Durant, playing more off the ball for the Warriors than he ever did with the Oklahoma City Thunder, has reached new heights in terms of his overall offensive effectiveness. Indeed, the highest true shooting percentage and lowest turnover rates of Durant’s career have come during his time in Golden State. You can’t argue with two rings and two Finals MVP awards in two years, either.
But Durant’s tenure with the Warriors as one of several cogs in the machine rather than the driving force behind it has nevertheless robbed the basketball world of the opportunity to watch him dominate the ball and dominate defenses in the process, doing so with ease, calm, and an overall sense of comfort the likes of which the league had never seen. Well, to an extent, at least.
LeBron James, for instance, believes a fully-unleashed Durant evokes striking similarities to Tracy McGrady, an opinion he expressed in response to a video of the ultra-talented tandem going at it during Durant’s rookie season with the Seattle Supersonics.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 5, 2019
Stylistically speaking, the comparison is an apt one, especially using James’ designation of Durant and McGrady as “smooth/silent killers.” When those guys get hot, there isn’t a better show in basketball.
But on a grander scale, comparing Durant and McGrady isn’t fair to the former.
Despite multiple seasons still remaining in his prime, Durant has reached a level of play and accomplished individual and team feats that McGrady never did. Would McGrady have enjoyed a higher degree of success had he sustained better injury luck? Certainly. But given how ruthlessly efficient Durant has been for the vast majority of his career, it’s a stretch to say McGrady, with a career-high true shooting percentage of 56.4, was ever capable of being the player Durant was and remains.
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