Can KD Lead The Suns To A Championship?

Kevin Durant lines up for a free throw during a game.

Courtesy of Keith Al Wikimedia Commons

Kevin Durant lines up for a free throw during a game.

Bryson Taylor, Editor at Large

The Phoenix Suns are looking to make a playoff run for the third straight year, and with the odds stacked against them, many fans still have high hopes. The last two years have both looked promising, however, the Suns fell short when it mattered. During the 2020-21 season, they went 51-21 in the regular season and had an AMAZING run in the playoffs, unfortunately for them, Giannis Antetokounmpo was not a force to be reckoned with as he would dominate them in the finals. Last year in the 2021-22 season, they had arguably one of the best regular seasons in history going 64-18, however, in the western conference finals, Luka Doncic pulled off the insane upset beating the Suns and advancing to the next round. 

Suns season so far

Currently, the Suns are sitting at a .551 win percentage with a record of 43-35, their worst season since 2019-20. Although it shows that record-wise the Suns have regressed this season, injuries have definitely held them back from their true potential. Throughout the season, Devin Booker has missed 30 games, Chris Paul has missed 21, and other key players have missed quite a few games as well. Luckily for fans, the Suns are looking healthy and happy just in time for the end of the season.

Addition of KD

On February 9th of 2023, the league was sent into a wild frenzy when Kevin Durant was traded to the already powerful Suns team. There were LOTS of different opinions on the trade, many people considered it an amazing move as KD is an all-time legendary player, while others considered this a bad move, calling KD injury prone and pointing out the fact that the Suns should never have gotten rid of Mikal Bridges. Although we still have not seen much of KD on the Suns, what we have seen is pure dominance. Since the addition, the Suns are yet to lose when he is playing, being 6-0. While this may not seem like enough to prove his worth to the team, if you look at his healthy games on the Brooklyn Nets since November 27th of 2022, he is 25-2 since then, which is pretty impressive. Along with that, he has been proving that he can provide a defense to the team, another concern when the trade happened, by averaging just under 2 blocks per game.

History of KD

Kevin Durant is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. His legacy in the sport is defined by his incredible talent, his consistent on-court success, and his impact on the game. Durant first burst onto the scene as a college player at the University of Texas, where he was a consensus All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year in his freshman season. 

He entered the NBA draft in 2007, where he was selected as the second overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics (who later became the Oklahoma City Thunder). In his first season in the NBA, Durant made an immediate impact, averaging 20.3 points per game and winning the Rookie of the Year award. He continued to improve over the next few seasons, becoming one of the league’s most dominant scorers and leading the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012.

In 2016, Durant made the controversial decision to leave the Thunder and join the Golden State Warriors, one of the most dominant teams in NBA history. The move paid off, as Durant won two NBA championships with the Warriors and was named Finals MVP both times. Durant’s individual accomplishments are also impressive. He’s a four-time scoring champion, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and has been named to the All-NBA First Team six times.

Despite his success on the court, Durant’s legacy has been somewhat complicated by his decision to join the already-stacked Warriors. Some fans and analysts have criticized him for taking what they see as an easy path to championships. This complication, caused by the media, is also following him into Phoenix, where he is once again being ridiculed by the media for joining a “superteam

Regardless of how one feels about Durant’s decision to join the Warriors or Suns, there’s no denying his impact on the game of basketball. His combination of size, speed, and skill make him one of the most difficult players to guard in history, and his scoring ability has been compared to that of legends like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

KD on the Suns

When Kevin Durant joined the Phoenix Suns, it was seen as a shift of power in the NBA. The Suns are a talented team with a strong core led by Devin Booker, Chris Paul, and Deandre Ayton, and adding Durant could instantly make them one of the best teams in the league.

Within the playoffs and the next couple of years, KD could make the Suns the best offense in the league. His scoring ability and shooting range could complement Booker’s perimeter game, and his size and versatility could easily create matchup nightmares for opposing teams. The Suns’ already-strong defense would also receive a boost from Durant’s shot-blocking and rim-protecting abilities.

There are also potential challenges that could come with adding Durant to the Suns. First, there would be questions about how he would fit into the team’s existing chemistry and system. Booker is used to being the primary scorer and playmaker, and no one is sure how adding another high-usage player like Durant would impact his role on the team.

As stated earlier, many people question how Durant’s injury history will impact his ability to contribute to the team. He has suffered several significant injuries in recent years, including a ruptured Achilles tendon that caused him to miss the entire 2019-2020 season.

It is all opinions for the future as of right now. As we have seen so far, KD can play a huge role for Phoenix, and hopefully lead them to the 2022-23 championship.