Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman address the reports of Kevin Durant signing with the New York Knicks in 2019 NBA free agency being a “done deal,” and if he’d regret joining a franchise owned by James Dolan.
Erik García Gundersen | USA TODAY SPORTS
The masses online will never agree when it comes to the debate on who the best basketball player to ever live is. But we do have insight on how a specific group of the population feels on the GOAT debate and, frankly, it’s not that close.
The Athletic released its answer to the NBA’s GM survey by doing an anonymous survey of current NBA players, touching on a wide range of questions, from who players would want to start a franchise with to who the greatest player ever is.
Here’s how 117 NBA players responded:
Who’s the best player of all time?
- Michael Jordan (73%)
- LeBron James (11.9%)
- Kobe Bryant (10.6%)
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1.7%)
- Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant (1%)
Given the state of the Lakers and the doubts about whether they can attract another star player to join LeBron James and the Lakers’ young players, the possibility of James adding more championships to his legacy is in serious doubt. Some of you likely believe that LeBron is better than Jordan in a vacuum. But the answers from players in this poll make it clear the GOAT debate has a lot of external factors at play.
We Have A New Anonymous NBA Players Poll And The Results Are Juicy
Greenie | BARSTOOL SPORTS
I LOVE anonymous NBA player polls. Love em, can’t get enough of em. So when I saw that The Athletic put one out after polling 127 players , I couldn’t have clicked fast enough. Combing through the results there were some surprises, some choices that made me legit laugh out loud, and others went about as you expected. After combing through, here’s what stood out
We may as well get this one out of the way early. Who do players think is the MVP?
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that players respect the hell out of James Harden. Remember when he got robbed of an MVP during Westbrook’s year but then also won the player’s choice for MVP in that fake award show that happens every year? The media may hate James Harden and his game, but the players know what’s up. In fact, the surprising part to me was that it wasn’t as close as I thought. Everything you read/hear these days is that this is a neck and neck race, but according to players it’s pretty clear who the MVP is and I imagine Rockets fans whole heartedly agree.
This I find shocking for a couple reasons. Not because Kawhi was the overall choice, that’s expected. But how can Giannis be so low? The man legit should win the DPOY award this season, yet he got just 2.6% of the votes? I don’t know how he doesn’t finish this top 3 at the very least, like how does someone think Kris Dunn is every bit the defender that Giannis is? Also, a little low for Myles Turner and PJ Tucker too, one of which leads the NBA in blocks and the other may be the most underrated defender in the entire NBA.
SEMI OJELEYE??!?!?! LOLLLLLLLLL
This is hilarious for a number of reasons. First, I’m not convinced any of those 47 players actually knows who Semi is because he barely plays. Unless they are factoring in Celtics Twitter, I don’t know how anyone could consider him overrated. Is that because he’s a Giannis stopper? That’s not me talking, that’s science
Also, is KAT overrated? People really think he’s not one of the most devastating young bigs in the league? It’s not his fault his team forgets he’s actually on it for long stretches, he puts up monster numbers and is young as shit. I feel like that’s a stretch too.
This list is much more accurate in my opinion. All these guys are underrated as shit. Well, maybe Middleton is slightly overrated if only because he’s been so underrated if that makes any sense, but I think the players nailed this one.
I wonder if Kyrie was asked this question and what his answer was. Interesting that both New York teams come in 9th, considering it’s being reported that everyone and their mother wants to go to either BKN or the NYK. Also hilarious that Phil Jackson got a vote, who does he coach for again?
Hilarious. Everyone hates Tony Brothers and Scott Foster just like us fans do. Maybe it’s because they’re shady as shit and the NBA clearly uses them to push a certain outcome. Everyone knows it and while the more fitting answer is probably #4, I don’t know how you could be surprised by the top 2 answers. Those guys STINK.
You know what they say, players talk. That is an overwhelming percentage right there that Durant ends up in NYC, and maybe that’s why Dolan sounded so confident about their summer a few weeks ago. Where there’s smoke there’s often fire, and it would be the most Knicks thing ever for there to be this overwhelming assumption that KD ends up a Knick only for him to end up somewhere else. Knicks fans are used to being cock teased I’m sure, but we’re reaching dangerous levels here. Imagine he turns them down and stays with GS? That first game at MSG would absolutely be must watch.
There’s a couple other interesting poll results, (here) so go ahead and read through it, but to me these stood out the most.
Check out Kyrie’s best crossover vs every NBA Team throughout his career.
Jack Baer | Yahoo Sports
The Golden State Warriors will say goodbye to Oracle Arena and the city of Oakland after this season, with a plan to open the new Chase Center in San Francisco next year.
That move is a very mixed bag for many fans, and an outright negative for the ones in Oakland, but the Warriors had plenty in store to honor their soon-to-be-old arena during their final home game of the regular season.
Warriors reveal Oakland banner
The team’s biggest gesture toward its time in Oakland was a banner reading “Oakland, California: 47 seasons” that will hang in the new Chase Center, commemorating the Warriors’ home for nearly the last five decades.
“Obviously this is the ceremonial final game at Oracle. We’ve got a few more to come,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said to the crowd. “Behind me, we’ve got a banner signifying 47 years here at Oracle Arena, and this banner will hang in the new Chase Center as well. So thank you to everybody, we love you and we’ll see you in the playoffs.”
Additionally, past Warriors favorites like Sleepy Floyd, Rick Barry, Adonal Foyle and Mo Speights were on hand and honored at halftime.
It’s a bittersweet moment for a team that was selling tickets even during the dark times between 1995 and 2012 in which the team the made the playoffs just once.
Once the team began winning titles in 2014-15, Oracle Arena morphed into a house of horrors for opponents, with the team losing a grand total of nine home games over the course of three years.
One of the most memorable teams during the Warriors’ 47 years in Oracle was the 2006-07 “We Believe” team, which pulled of one of the NBA’s greatest upsets against the 67-win Dallas Mavericks that featured league MVP Dirk Nowitzki.
The Warriors took a special step to remember that team…
Warriors surprise fans by wearing ‘We Believe’ throwback uniforms and they loved it
Andy Nesbitt | USA TODAY SPORTS
The Golden State Warriors were playing in their final regular season home game at classic Oracle Arena in Oakland and they broke out some classic uniforms to celebrate the night.
Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Co. wore the “We Believe” uniforms that the franchise last wore in the 2009-10 season.
And it must have worked because the Warriors blew out the Clippers to lock up the No. 1 seed in the West.
The phrase was adopted by the 2006-07 Warriors team as they went on a run in the final months of the season and made the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. They then stunned Dirk Nowitzki and the top-seed Mavericks in six games and had Oracle Arena rocking in the process.
Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis, and the rest of the guys on that team must have loved seeing these jerseys Sunday night.
Because they looked pretty great. Making things even better, the team waited until the last second to surprise fans with them.
Steph Curry explains decision to honor Monta Ellis before Oracle finale
Josh Schrock | NBC SPORTS
Steph Curry made a lot of Warriors fans smile Sunday before he had even stepped on the court at Oracle Arena.
Curry has been honoring past Warriors greats by wearing their jerseys to games, and he honored a player who is near and dear to Warriors fans’ hearts Sunday: former teammate Monta Ellis.
Curry and Ellis played together for two and a half seasons before Ellis was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the 2011-12 season. The two guards had some history, with Ellis saying he “can’t play with” Curry when the Warriors drafted the sharpshooting guard with the No. 7 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
After the Warriors thumped the Los Angeles Clippers in the regular-season finale at Oracle Arena, Curry explained why he chose this game to honor his former backcourt mate.
“Obviously, a lot of history that Monta was able to be a part of with the ‘We Believe’ Warriors era, and when I got here my rookie year, he was that guy,” Curry told reporters after the game. “And I think for me, in terms of representing him on the last game, it meant a lot because we were in that backcourt together.
“When he was traded it was a tough time in terms of the transition of the organization and things like that. I wanted to pay, obviously, honor to him in terms of his story, coming out of high school and doing what he was able to do. He was an Oakland fan, Warrior fan. Beloved guy. So it was only right to have him as the last night of the regular season.”
Well said, Steph.
Ellis, for his part, showed Curry love on Instagram for choosing to honor him Sunday.
Monta Ellis sends love to Steph Curry for rocking jersey to Oracle finale
Josh Schrock | NBC SPORTS
Steph Curry has been honoring Warriors legends by wearing their jerseys to the final games at Oracle Arena, and on Sunday he gave a nod to a player who holds a special place in hearts of Warriors fans — Monta Ellis.
Curry and Ellis played together for two and half seasons, with Ellis famously saying that he and Curry “can’t play together” after the Warriors drafted Curry with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Regardless of their history, Curry arrived at Oracle Arena rocking an Ellis throwback jersey prior to the final regular-season game in Oakland.
Warriors fans weren’t the only ones who appreciated the gesture, as Ellis sent Curry some love on Instagram after the arrival.
Ellis played six and a half seasons for the Warriors before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks midway through the 2011-12 season. During his Warriors tenure, Ellis averaged 19.6 points per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field.