‘Kevin Durant Keeps Running From The Grind’ | Did Anthony Edwards’ Poster Slam End Phoenix’s $149M Big Three?

Anthony Edwards’ poster dunk over Kevin Durant in Game 4 of a first-round playoff sweep, will be remembered as a defining moment in NBA history. As the young Minnesota Timberwolves star continues to dazzle the NBA with his explosive play on both ends of the court, helping his squad advance to the next round.

When he blew past Bradley Beal and delivered a facial on KD, in the words of the announcer, it was “a signature slam.” 

Comparisons To Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant Continue For Anthony Edwards

The young baller drawing comparisons to Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, led Minnesota to its first playoff series win in 20 years. Edwards finished 13 of 23 from the field, including 7 of 13 from 3-point range. 

It was the one-handed power slam that he executed to give Minnesota a 115-111 lead with 2:14 left, that shook the NBA and was reminiscent of when Jordan hit Bird with the cross over, between the legs, razzle, dazzle with a jumper in ya’ face, in the ’86 playoffs. Jordan lost that series, but he scored 63 points in the game, going heads-up with a legend in his second year in the league.

Or when Allen Iverson crossed Jordan and we saw the changing of the guard in front of our own eyes. Acknowledging that Iverson shook the GOAT out of his Air Jordans doesn’t diminish the legacy of MJ. It was, however, everything for Iverson, who wanted to test his skills against the giants that he idolized coming up. That’s what the all-time greats do. 

Will Embarrassing Playoff Sweep Drive KD Out of Phoenix

While Kevin Durant seems to be sleepwalking through the last years of his career, presumably with legacy already intact, the young gunners such as Anthony Edwards are coming for the crowns. While many superstars are sidelined with max contracts and broken bodies, the 22-year-old, who notices the void being left with LeBron’s eventual departure, has seized the moment all season and continues to do so in these 2024 playoffs. 

From Game 1, Antman let it be known he wanted KD’s head.

Phoenix compiled another superteam alongside Durant, who joined All-NBA guard Devin Booker in Phoenix, after the experiment with Kyrie and James Harden in Brooklyn failed before it could even get started. Adding Bradley Beal was, in their own words, supposed to give the Suns an “unguardable” Big Three that would seriously contend for titles. 

Despite Durant’s legendary status, $500 million net worth and numerous accolades, the questions surrounding his leadership and legacy still remain. 

Will Kevin Durant’s Legacy Suffer If He Leaves Phoenix?

“It is incredibly sad that we have to have the kind of discussion that we’re having about Kevin Durant considering how great and phenomenal this dude is,” Stephen A. Smith said on “First Take” on Monday morning. But it’s a byproduct of him continuously finding himself in situations where people are looking at him and saying, “he is not happy.”

“NBA executives say religiously, ‘the guy never seems happy.’” 

Co-host Shannon Sharpe says it’s KD’s own fault and if he leaves the Suns after this recent embarrassing sweep, then the whispers about him bolting when the going gets too rough will continue to be a stain on his all-time standing. 

If KD, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker breakup that’s also $149M of “Big Three” money down the drain.

“If Kevin Durant were to leave Phoenix,” Sharpe said. “People are gonna say Kevin Durant keeps running from the grind. Because everywhere he went with the exception of Golden State it was a grind. OKC was a grind because he was going to have to get over Golden State. You join Golden State, and it becomes smooth sailing. That’s 67 to 68 games you’re winning a season. You got to Brooklyn, it starts to become another grind because here comes Boston and here comes Milwaukee, that’s a grind. In Phoenix, you got these young guns [in the Western Conference] … you got OKC, you got Antman, you got the Nuggets [to get through].”

KD stumbling to the side, like a defeated fighter leaning on the ropes after an explosive blow to his head, heart and ego, in the aftermath of Edwards flying past Beal and sending everyone to meet their makers, was also a sight we will never forget. 

Sure, he’s been dunked on before. Everybody has, and KD went heads up with LeBron James in some classic matchups while winning back-to-back titles with Golden State during the Splash Brothers era. 

This was different. The Suns were down 3-0 in the series and you definitely expected them to be the team ready to leap through the roof to get the job done. Or at least shoot through it. 

Anthony Edwards is showing and proving — and hungry — something that we definitely don’t see enough of anymore.

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