Stephen A. Smith may be the most bombastic voice in all of sports, but he is also extremely well-regarded by many mainstream NBA fans.
Whether his critics want to admit it or not, Smith’s opinions carry a certain amount of weight. There is a reason ESPN pays him what it pays him.
With that in mind, when the ‘First Take’ host weighs in on certain subjects, it becomes a front page story.
Case in point: his opinion this week on who the NBA’s current best player is.
During Thursday’s show, Smith broke it down in plain terms.
“I think that KD, when healthy, is the most unstoppable force in basketball.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) January 12, 2023
“To me, when healthy, it’s Kevin Durant,” Smith said.
“He’s averaging nearly 30 [points per game] on nearly 56 percent shooting, over 37 percent from three-point range, the brother’s spectacular.
“Can’t ignore Giannis [Antetokounmpo], can’t ignore [Nikola] Jokic… I look at Luka [Doncic], guys like that. But for me, I’m going to always say when healthy, it’s KD. He’s the most unstoppable force in basketball.”
It is tough to argue with Smith’s assessment. Obviously the Brooklyn Nets got off to a rocky start this year. But since then? The team has been on fire.
Currently the Nets are 27-13 and sit second in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics.
With their NBA Trade Deadline plan something of an open secret at this point, it really wouldn’t be shocking at all to see them climb over Boston at some point in the foreseeable future.
A 4th team has entered the Zach LaVine chat. https://t.co/oCATsLiQwT
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 12, 2023
Durant is definitely one of the best players in the league today, and there is a fair case to be made he’s actually the best.
Of course, if he really wants to cement that crown, all Durant has to do is win a championship.
If that ends up materializing, all debate regarding who’s the true King of the NBA right now would end immediately.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.