Kevin Durant has had an interesting regular season in 2018-19. He has been asked nonstop about his potential departure from his current team, while also watching his team struggle in ways we haven't seen them struggle since Durant arrived, and also dealing with team-related issues. Through all this, Durant still managed to put up solid numbers, but he has turned it to another level this postseason, making him MVP of the playoffs right now.
During these playoffs, Durant is averaging 35 points per game and scored 200 points through a five-game stretch, becoming the fifth player to do this in the playoffs, a group that includes LeBron James and Michael Jordan. He has become a clutch machine as well, scoring 50 points during the closeout game of the first round matchup between the Warriors and Clippers and continuously hitting shots to propel his team to victories.
So how has Durant all of a sudden turned from the diva of the media to the best player on planet earth? He seemed to stop worrying about the media asking him about his impending departure from Oakland, leading him to activate his "playoff mode". Plus, Durant has been featured in the playoffs since 2011, so his experience is starting to pay huge dividends. He seems comfortable being in the playoffs and seems to want the shots on the biggest stages, something you must have if you want to win a championship in the NBA. It's the thing that made Jordan a six-time champion, he always wanted the big shot and would make them more times than not.
That's what Durant is trying to prove to everybody, that he belongs in the conversation of GOAT with LeBron and Michael. That chip on his shoulder has pushed him to another level this postseason and it's been fun to watch. Especially since it got annoying during the season when Durant would act like a diva when dealing with the media. The best version of Durant is clearly when he is locked in and just playing basketball, not worried about the other stuff.
We all know Durant is leaving this coming offseason, it has been no secret for a while that his interest in the Knicks is high after moving his headquarters to New York not long ago. With that being said, Durant is wanting to go out in style before ultimately leaving the team for a new city. It's a smart move if you want to be remembered by Warriors fans forever, it'll make the pain of watching the best player on the planet leave your team if that player won three straight championships, giving it his all in the process. Fans will likely shed more sympathy for Durant when he does leave rather than if he played mediocre in this postseason and the Warriors found a way to lose.
The Warriors are on their way to another championship, there is no doubt about that. If Durant continues to play at this level, he will win finals MVP with ease come June, adding a third ring to his growing collection. That will match him with rival LeBron and put him halfway to idol Jordan. With that being said, it's time to start including Durant in that discussion of him being one of the best players of all-time.