The Brooklyn Nets came up short this postseason, as they were bitten by the injury bug that they couldn’t overcome as James Harden played through a Grade 2 hamstring strain and Kyrie Irving couldn’t play through an ankle sprain, sitting for the final three games of Brooklyn’s second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Durant averaged 34.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists in the playoffs this year. Over the final three games of the Bucks series, Durant averaged 43 points. He even had a game-tying shot with a second left in regulation sent Game 7 into overtime. However, he shot an air-ball that could’ve made him the hero on that night.
According to Scottie Pippen, that loss is an important factor when discussing Durant as the NBA’s best player. Pippen says Durant still hasn’t surpassed Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
“Surpassing LeBron James takes a little bit more than an individual’s effort. LeBron James is a complete team player who understands team and winning. Has K.D. gotten to that level yet? He went home,” Pippen told Goodwill. “To say that he’s surpassed LeBron, I think he still has some learning to do in terms of what it takes to will a team to victory. Give Brooklyn a lot of credit. They lost Kyrie, James Harden probably was less than 50 percent. It just wasn’t seeing the same player, but still, it was a heck of a series.”
Durant saw the comments and destroyed him on Twitter by bringing up his past antics.
“Didn’t the great Scottie pippen refuse to go in the game for the last second shot because he was in his feelings his coach drew up the play for a better shooter??”
Scottie Pippen famously refused to enter the closing seconds in Game 3 of the 1994 East semis when Phil Jackson didn’t draw up the last shot for him.
26 years later and he made it clear that he wouldn’t change anything he did.
“It’s one of those incidents that I wish had never happened,” Pippen said in Episode 7 of “The Last Dance” documentary. “But if I had a chance to do it all over again, I probably wouldn’t change it.”