While Michael Jordan and LeBron James have dominated basketball's 'greatest of all-time' conversation, Sports Illustrated host Robin Lundberg decided to put the spotlight on NBA greats Larry Bird and Kevin Durant. SI's Ben Pickman and Fantasy exec Corey Parson debate which NBA small forward is the better player.
Read the full video transcript:
Robin Lundberg: Nets GM Sean Mark said whether Kevin Durant would return if the season resumed is the $110 million question. But here's another question with the last dance leading to endless comparisons between NBA legends, who's better? Kevin Durant or the best forward during that time, Larry Bird? For more, I'm joined by our Ben Pickman and the fantasy exec Corey Parson. Corey, I'll start with you. Bird or KD?
Corey Parson: Listen, this is no disrespect to Larry Legend, but I got to go with Kevin Durant. The pride of Prince George's County. You're talking about a 6 "10" guy that could play three positions and light it up offensively, one of the most skilled player the NBA has ever seen. He is a two time champion, a two time finals MVP, a four time scoring champion. And he also has a league Most Valuable Player. Twenty seven points per game for his career. That number actually goes at twenty nine points per game in the playoffs. The only knock against him would be he had joined the Warriors to win the championship.
Robin Lundberg: Ben we're always talking about what a guy would've done in a different era if Durant had just showed up in the 80s or 90s. They'd be like, 'what is this''
Ben Pickman: Right. Absolutely. But I think you can make the same case with Larry Bird, Robin, that if he would have showed up today, he would also be even more of a lights out three point shooter than he was in the 1980s when people were not taking them very frequently. But let's examine Larry Bird's legacy for a second. He has there's three NBA titles. He made twelve All-Star appearances in just 13 years. Now he also has those three league MVP. Now, his resumé is slightly greater as it stands than Kevin Durant's right now. And as I mentioned, back injuries help cut Larry Bird's career short, too. It's fair to Stan, too. If Bird flashes for 20 some odd years and has the same kind of medical treatment and body awareness that players nowadays have, does Larry play maybe five, six, seven more years? And what does his resume look like even then? He's still maybe arguably one of the best forwards of all time. As it stands right now. And he probably would have been even greater if he played in another decade.
Robin Lundberg: He was a great rebounder, a great shooter, a great passer, a great trash talker. And that's why I agree. I think he's greater than Kevin Durant, even if you could argue Durant is better. And maybe what Durant does in Brooklyn will ultimately determine the answer here.