Kevin Durant Shades LeBron James, Can Picture Retiring in 5 Years

“It’s easy to be the best player when you don’t have good players around you.”

Getty Images

Kevin Durant is ruthless. 

It wasn’t enough for him to put up 29 points per game against LeBron James and the Cavs. It wasn’t enough for his Warriors to sweep the Cavs, ending their season in a game four blowout in front of the dead-silent crowd in Cleveland. It wasn’t enough for him to win his second Finals MVP. 

He also has to try to murder LeBron in the media.

In response to the constant critiques of his choice to join the Warriors instead of trying to lead his own team, Durant threw some shade toward the best basketball player on the planet: “I feel like it’s easy to be the best player when you don’t have good players around you,” he told Yahoo Sports. “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.”

Durant’s swipe, which he delivered after Friday night’s game four beatdown, may have had something to do with a seemingly innocent quote LeBron game earlier in the week. After Durant went off for 43 points, carrying the Warriors to a win despite awful games from Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, LeBron said the make-up of the Warriors resulted in “not much pressure” on each of the team’s stars. If one, or even two of them lay an egg, there’s another All-Star there to pick up the slack. 

Not the most scathing burn, but in the petty soap opera of the NBA, Durant certainly took notice. After all, LeBron was saying the Warriors have it easier, which diminishes their accomplishment. Little wonder then that Durant came out swinging.

In other Durant news, the superstar 29-year-old told ESPN over the weekend that he could see himself retiring in five years. 

“This game, your craft, you have to continue studying it,” he said. “No matter how much you enjoy it, nobody wants to be in school that long. I know I don’t. At some point, you have to be ready to graduate. Thirty-five, that’s just a number in my mind.”

If Durant were to play for five more seasons and score 1,901 points each year (his career per-season average), he’d end his career with 30,419 points. That would be good enough for eighth on the all-time scoring list, a spot currently held by Julis Irving and his 30,026 career points. 

Durant would have to play four more seasons after that, scoring slightly more than his 1,901 point average, to surpass Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s all-time scoring record. But he told ESPN that he’s not concerned about that record. 

“It’s a cool accomplishment to be up there with the greats and to be considered someone who can potentially chase that, or beat that, but I’m not playing for that,” he said. 

Of course, if Durant is still chasing that record nine seasons from now there’s almost no chance that it’ll be Jabbar that he’s chasing. With 31,038 career points, LeBron is about four seasons away from becoming the NBA’s career scoring champ. The only question left is what jersey LeBron will be wearing when he does it