Kevin Durant has had a fully healthy season in quite some time. This 2022-23 season has not only seen him go down with injury, but also switch teams while still on the mend. In the midst of his MCL recovery, an injury he’s slated to return from some time mid next week, he’s been traded from the Nets to the Phoenix Suns.
KD has yet to play a game for the Suns as he’s been out since early January after having gotten injured during a play involving the Heat’s Jimmy Butler. When he’s out on the floor, it’s very clear that he’s a top 5 player in the NBA without a shadow of a doubt.
Blake Griffin said it best when he said that he’s never seen a superstar be less affected by a defense than KD. While every fan can agree Durant is a top 5 player in the world even in his mid 30s, the real debate flares up when talking about who the undisputed number one player in the world is. Clearly, Charles Barkley has another man in mind.
Charles Barkley believes Kevin Durant isn’t the best in the world when healthy
Charles Barkley graced the set of ESPN’s ‘First Take’ and very boldly stated that he did not agree with Stephen A Smith’s claim that Kevin Durant is the best in the world when healthy. Of course, Smith believes that KD being the offensive specimen that he is makes him the best in the world if on the court.
Chuck’s pick for who the best in the world is none other than Giannis Antetokounmpo. The ‘Greek Freak’ is in the middle of yet another MVP-esque season and is carrying the Milwaukee Bucks to a top 2 seed in the Eastern Conference all while also being one of the best defenders in the NBA.
Of course, when it comes to both sides of the ball, there is nobody that is more elite and complete than the 2021 Finals MVP. However, his limitations on the offensive end of the floor with both of his poor 3-point and free throw shooting in comparison to the ‘Slim Reaper’ does play a factor here.
Charles Barkley also mentioned another European superstar
Charles Barkley, along with Giannis, said that Nikola Jokic is another man who can very easily claim the title of ‘best player in the world’. ‘The Joker’ is currently leading the Denver Nuggets to the first seed in a loaded Western Conference and is doing so while being the front-runner for his 3rd straight regular season MVP.
The fun part about this debate is the fact that Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic are all 3 very different players. Yet, it is very much possible to win a title with any 3 of these superstars as the undisputed first option on your team with the right pieces surrounding them.