Warriors' Kevin Durant reveals top five NBA players of all time; puts Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant at the top
The All-Star forward revealed his decision during a recent podcast with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson
One of the biggest debates in sports has always been who is the greatest player in the history of the NBA.
Several current and former players are constantly weighing in on the conversation and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is the latest to give his opinion. In a recent appearance on Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles' podcast, "Knuckleheads," Durant said that he believes that Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Magic Johnson make up his top five as far as the greatest NBA players of all-time go.
"Mike (Jordan), obviously at one. Kobe (Bryant) two. Shaq (O'Neal) three. Hakeem (Olajuwon) four. Magic (Johnson)," Durant said during the interview.
The list is certainly open to interpretation and one of the biggest surprises may be that Bryant lands at No. 2 on Durant's list.
"Easy, No. 2 ever," Durant said when referring to Bryant. "Not in greatness but in terms of skill to me."
It's hard to criticize Durant too much because Bryant did have a star-studded career with the Los Angeles Lakers. In 20 NBA seasons, Bryant put together averages of 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. Bryant also helped bring five NBA titles to Los Angeles and thrived even after the Lakers traded O'Neal to the Miami Heat.
Durant also admitted that it wasn't exactly an easy list to compile because he also considered having another Lakers legend in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar make the cut. The All-Star forward ultimately decided to go with Olajuwon over Abdul-Jabbar after considering the overall skill set of both players.
"I'm looking at it from a pure skill standpoint," Durant explained. "It's a toss-up. (Hakeem is) more my taste though."
At first glance, one of the most interesting omissions from the list may be the fact that LeBron James wasn't anywhere to found. Many analysts and fans have insisted that James may already be the second-greatest player of all-time behind Jordan and still could reach that plateau depending on how his career wraps up.
"I like to put these dudes in there when they retire," Durant said. "That's when I really want to evaluate their careers."
While James most likely is in that top five group, Durant's reasoning is certainly valid because he wants to look at a player's entire body of work and James still likely has a few more seasons in him at the very least.
In the end, Durant could wind up on one of these lists as well once his career comes to an end but he will have another opportunity to add to his already impressive resume on Friday when the Warriors host their longtime rival in the Cleveland Cavaliers (10:30 p.m. ET -- Watch on FuboTV with NBA League Pass add-on).
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