Jimmy Butler is a straight up boss. Peep this.
Butler lists his top five hardest defensive assignments as LeBron, Kyrie, Durant, Steph, and Harden. He provides legitimate reasons as to why they challenged him, swallows his pride multiple times, and once again showcases that his attitude towards the game is rooted in the old school ways. This article and his impact on the Heat this season have forced me to reevaluate Butler – I now view him as a top ten guy in today’s league. Butler’s presence on the floor matched has matched the power of his written, and his stock is rising. You know who never, ever helps himself via the written word or any words for that matter? Kevin Durant. You know who else chimed in with a his top five toughest dudes to defend list? Fuckin’ Kevin Durant. This is his list.
In the wake of his nonsense with Kendrick Perkins, you’d think KD would take a breather from expressing his views on things to the public. His insecurity over Twitter gave Perkins enough room to arguably win their exchange, and it became yet another addition to his growing list of media fails. KD’s verbal warfare is the polar opposite of his offensive game on the NBA floor. Instead of countless defenders, it is ALWAYS Durant whom looks foolish. Examples? How about the burner Twitter accounts, his beef with Draymond, his text feud with Chris “Bum Ass” Broussard, as well several other spats that I don’t care to mention? That all said, it gives to context to his terrible list. Even more context can be ascertained when examining the backlash from his infamous move to Golden State after the 2015-2016 NBA season. With all the above in mind, I can firmly see what Durant’s agenda was in listing these five dudes:
- LeBron James
- Kawhi Leonard
- Paul George
- Joel Embiid
- Lou Williams
LeBron is obvious and necessary. He is a top five player of all time, and he’s been Durant’s chief competition for the true MVP every season of his career. Kawhi is also obvious and necessary – they clashed in the western conference for the majority of each’s career, and they never backed down from each other. Here’s where it gets tricky…why the hell did KD include PG and Lou over his current and former teammates such as Steph, Kyrie, and Harden? You might say, “well, he probably never guarded Steph or Kyrie one-on-one for long stretches of time.” However, if that’s the reason why, it doesn’t add up. Lou Williams is the same type of cover (with lesser handling and shooting than both Steph and Kyrie), and that would mean he too wasn’t Durant’s defensive responsibility for large chunks of time. Combining that thinking with Durant’s inclusion of Paul George over James Harden and his EXTENSIVE history of insecure behavior allows me to really connect some dots. Ready?
- Anybody remember any epic Durant / PG duels? Bueller? Let us look at their H2H stats to refresh our memories, shall we? Um, Kevin? He shoots 38% against you. You’re either hyping your own defense too much or you’re overstating PG’s offensive talents. I think it’s the latter, because it makes your mortal enemy (Russell Westbrook) look bad, and it also makes Kawhi’s move to the Clippers look slightly similar to your own highly scrutinized move to the Warriors. The intent to devalue Kawhi and/or justify his own career choices is not hard to see, as it also aligns with him including Lou Williams over the likes of Curry and Irving. Either way you slice it, including Paul George on this list is a joke. The numbers (and sane brains) suggest it should be James Harden in George’s place:
- Lou Williams’ inclusion on his top five is even more comical, and when you see the numbers it becomes downright hysterical. Here’s KD v. Kyrie:And finally, here’s KD v. Steph:Kevin – YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. Either this man doesn’t remember A SINGLE FUCKING THING from the games he plays, or he’s pushing an agenda that is patently absurd. No matter its catalyst, I find this level of ignorance offensive from an all-time great hooper.
- We need to discuss Embiid’s placement in this grouping. We’ve established why he most likely isn’t doling out props to his teammates (both past and present). We’ve also established this list as a potential way to celebrate his own defensive chops, correct? With that in mind, he had to include a big man. But why Joel over Giannis? Numbers time!Wow, man. Just wow. Joel’s .373 FG% in their three regular season matchups made his list. Kevin Durant is fucking tone deaf. Let’s see Giannis’ stats:As expected, Giannis has performed at a better clip against KD than Embiid. KD included Embiid because Giannis is the reigning MVP and KD isn’t happy about that. Or maybe he does have the worst memory on Earth. Regardless, I bet when they see each other again Giannis brings the ruckus to Durant’s dome.
- Despite all of the above, Durant’s biggest error was leaving a legend off his list. Let’s peep Durant’s H2H with one of the best offensive player of all time, Dirk Nowitzki (14 playoff games against one another):Of all the guys we’ve discussed, Dirk deserves his place on KD’s list the most. Why didn’t he get it? Because Durant is tone deaf, guys. His actions, his words, and the numbers add up to equal an absurdly confused, insecure dude. His attempts to script his own narrative, unlike LeBron, have backfired. His ways have made this meme a large chunk of his legacy:
Damn, Kevin. It’s a shame how far we done fell.