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#pounditWednesday, November 29, 2023

Dr. J singles out Kevin Durant while criticizing today’s NBA stars

Julius Erving smiling

Mar 6, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; New York Nets former player Julius Erving acknowledges the crowd as he is introduced during the second quarter of a game between the Brooklyn Nets and the San Antonio Spurs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Erving is one of many old-school players who do not agree with the way superstars operate in the modern NBA, and the Hall of Fame forward feels one particular player has helped create the problematic culture.

During an interview with Joy De’Angela this week, Erving expressed his dissatisfaction with today’s superstars forcing trades in order to form superteams.

“The prisoners are running the show and not the warden, where a star player on a team is like, ‘Screw this city and all the support that they’ve given me and I’m going south to Florida or to L.A. or to Texas,'” Erving said. “They’re business decisions. I understand, but they have not helped the game. They have not helped keep the parity within the game when you build these superteams.”

De’Angela then asked Dr. J specifically about Damian Lillard, who is seeking a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. Erving said he has less of a problem with that since Lillard has spent so many years in Portland and tried to make it work. Dr. J then singled out Kevin Durant for forcing multiple trades during his prime.

“Wherever he goes he will probably finish his career because of his age and the fact that he’s played 12, 13 years (in Portland),” Erving said of Lillard. “He wants to have a chance at winning a championship and he doesn’t think he’s gonna get it there, so that’s a good reason. But a guy 26 or 27 just wanting to hop around … look at how many times Durant has hopped around. No, for real, OKC, then Golden State, now he’s in Phoenix.”

Durant is not going to be happy about those comments, and history tells us he will have some sort of response. Though, we doubt he will get into it with Dr. J the same way Durant has with Charles Barkley.

While many have lumped Lillard in with other superstar players who try to force trades, his situation is a bit different. Durant has a history of leaving as soon as things start to go poorly, whereas Lillard has been committed to the Blazers for more than a decade. That is the point Dr. J was making.

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