There have been situations a little like this before, where a player who has an NBA MVP trophy at home isn’t the best player on a team’s roster. But in those situations, the former MVP is usually near the end of his career, not in his prime. Late career Shaquille O’Neal is a good example of a superstar former MVP who wasn’t the best player on any of his teams after his hugely successful stints (and four championships) with the Lakers and the Heat.
But it is pretty much unprecedented that a two-time NBA MVP still in his prime isn’t the best player on a team’s roster. Kevin Durant makes that the current situation for the Golden State Warriors and 2x MVP Stephen Curry.
The Warriors are a team-oriented operation, so the question of who the best Warriors player is usually hangs unanswered. Is it still Steph’s team? Or is it KD’s team? Savvy teammates of these two exceptional players usually deflect this line of inquiry as irrelevant.
But Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson was unambiguous about the identity of the Warriors’ best player after Durant suffered an injury in Game 5. Asked about how the team responded to losing Durant, Thompson said: “You lose your best player it’s deflating. But we got a lot of competitors on this team who play with great heart. Guys stepped up. Steph came alive.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 9, 2019