Best Small Forward in NBA History?
Pump your brakes, Kevin has not earned that title. That title belongs to Scottie Pippen. I have so many reasons why. Kevin has all of the potential, but it is time for him to get it on. In 2015 I did not want to place Kevin or LeBron on the 2016 Olympic team. Even though I am acutely aware of their talent levels, neither of them were the best at any position. Reality is that both LeBron and Kevin played Shooting Guard in the 2015/2016 time frame.
That said, they were not the best players at that position. I had Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook way ahead of them. Both Steph and Russ were legitimate Floor Generals, led the offense, and played the proper defensive assignments.
During that time, I coined the term, “Ho Ass Bitch Guard” for LeBron and Kevin and a few others that specialized at jacking 3 point shots over smaller guards, while taking the easiest defensive assignment on the floor. Disagree with me if you like, but you would not know a specialist named Shane Battier if LeBron James took the proper defensive challenge. Let’s not go there.
Faced with the controversial elimination of LeBron and Durant from the Olympic roster, it is easy to assume that Kevin and LeBron are Small Forwards. Not! You can’t choose a Ho Ass Bitch Guard over a real Small Forward like Draymond Green or Kawhi Leonard, who actually play Forward against other big men, enforce the paint, own the board. No way in Hell!
No, there is no such thing as a Point Center, Point Forward, Point Ho! I finally decided that Durant could be on the roster as a dangerous option player. A 6th man that is basically unstoppable.
Kevin began playing Small Forward at Golden State and he performed at a very excellent level. Most call his 2 championship seasons, “asterisk” seasons, because Golden State did not need him to win and their stars sacrificed their touches to allow Kevin to score, which he certainly did.
The truth is that most of Kevin’s career was spent competing for touches against Westbrook, while consistently and totally failing to win championships.
Now compare Kevin to Pippen who won 6 of 6 championships while actually playing small forward 100% of the time, against big, big men like Oakley, Wallace, Ewing, Mason, Bird, McHale, Worthy, Kareem, Hakeem, Wilkins, Dawson, Bad Boys, Knicks, Celtics, Lakers, on and on, and in an era where the game was 4 times as physical.
Durant is far superior as an offensive threat than Pippen. That is about it. I still do not have Durant ahead of Pippen, Bird, or Barkley. Durant has some Forward Work ahead of him and I hope that he takes his longevity seriously. I do not think that Kevin is going to get better. He is at his prime right now and can ill afford another season failure.
Scottie Pippen is the GOAT as far as Small Forwards are concerned. If you think that LeBron is relevant here, then I volunteer to buy you a new pair of clown shoes…..