Most people look at Skip Bayless as a talking head that will do anything to gain attention. This is very true to an extent but it doesn’t mean that he is clueless and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Bayless – a huge fan of Kevin Durant – has been very critical of him over the years. Most recently, he is calling KD out for having a “LeBron Complex.”
He is essentially saying that Durant is too nice and shouldn’t be allowing Russell Westbrook to play the way that he was, Bayless compares Russ to Kobe. It should be the other way around with Durant approaching the court with a Kobe-like mentality and Westbrook being more passive.
The way Bayless phrases this is what will have people up in arms. What he’s actually saying is something that probably everyone has agreed with at some point in time.
What we’ve seen this season is the most dramatic change in Durant’s game. He is trying to be more of an all-around player, improving as a passer, defender and rebounder. On paper, there’s nothing wrong with this and it makes total sense. But at times it feels like Durant has lost his identity somewhat and it isn’t helping the Thunder win.
It makes sense to try and imitate the best player in the league, which is seems is what Durant has been doing. But it doesn’t make sense if you can’t do it perfectly. If Durant can’t be as good as LeBron is playing his game, then it becomes a bad idea to try and be like LeBron. Even when LeBron was slightly not as good, he was still the best player in the league but he wasn’t good enough to win titles yet.
Durant becoming LeBron is something that will never happen and Durant needs to realize this. He needs to just be himself and if anything, more like Kobe.
Bayless is right on the money with this assertion of Durant and he will always be right unless Durant wins a title playing this way. That’s why this is a safe argument for Bayless to make because the only thing that makes him wrong is if Durant wins a title.
The Thunder look further from winning a title right now than they have all season. There is real fear in the minds of Thunder fans. There is fear that the Harden trade was a horrible mistake, Scott Brooks is not the right coach for this team and Durant is not playing the right way. None of those fears existed a season ago, at least not to the extent that they do now.
The regular season is almost over and the playoffs will soon begin. We know how the game changes at that point and it will be very interesting to see which Durant we see. Will he continue to keep imitating LeBron or will be become more Kobe-like? It really could be either.