In this blog, we will compare the two great basketball players, Larry Bird and Kevin Durant. We will discuss their playing styles, strengths, and weaknesses. We will also compare their stats from their rookie seasons. Finally, we will give our opinion on who is the better player.
Larry Bird Vs Kevin Durant
|Kevin Durant||Career||Larry Bird|
|8,716||Field Goals Made||8,591|
|17,577||Field Goals Attempted||17,334|
|49.6%||Field Goal Percentage||49.6%|
|6,324||Free Throws Made||3,96|
|7,153||Free Throws Attempted||4,471|
|88.4%||Free Throw Percentage||88.6%|
|27.2||Points Per Game||24.3|
|36.8||Minutes Per Game||38.4|
|4.3||Assists Per Game||6.3|
|7.1||Rebounds Per Game||10.0|
|26.6||Points Per 36 Minutes||22.8|
|6.9||Rebounds Per 36 Minutes||9.4|
|4.2||Assists Per 36 Minutes||6.0|
Scoring – Kevin Durant
Larry Bird is one of the greatest scoring forwards of all time. He finished his career with a monstrous 24.3 points per game on 37.6% from deep and 49.6% from the field overall. Larry Legend entered the NBA at the age of 23 and had an immediate impact on the Boston Celtics.
The Bird was selected onto the All-Star team during his rookie season, blending a smooth outside stroke he’d carry throughout his career with a variety of mid-range off-the-dribble jump jumpers he improved on every season until becoming an assassin when left in one-on-one defense.
Kevin Durant may be the finest pure bucket-getter in NBA history. He has a lifetime average of 27.1 PPG, 38.4% from deep, and 49.6% from the field. Kevin Durant is an unstoppable offensive force. He mixes point guard skills with his 6-10, 240-pound size to blow by opposing defenders on the perimeter for an easy two at the rack, and when you lay off him, he rises up for a silky J from anywhere on the court.
Athleticism – Kevin Durant
Larry Bird was notably unathletic. When you watch vintage Larry Legend highlight videos, you’ll see that he barely got three inches off the ground for his dunks. Larry Legend was aware that he wasn’t as swift or as athletic as his competitors, but he didn’t care.
He took pleasure in his remarkable work ethic, going to the lab after contests or tough sessions to acquire additional injections. Bird worked relentlessly on his jumper, putting in the effort that paid off big time during the postseason, allowing him the muscle memory to score dozens of important baskets for the Boston Celtics
Kevin Durant may be the most athletic power forward ever. He’s so quick that it’s easy to forget he’s 6-10. K.D.’s powerful first step was combined with a lethal crossover to get into the lane at will, where he pounded the rim, completing over 75% of his shots from 0 to 3 feet.
Defense – Larry Bird
K.D. was toothpick thin at the start of his career and was often bullied on the block by bigger players, causing his OKC Thunder to lose points. Durant went to the gym every summer and finally bulked out, becoming a great all-around defender capable of bothering lesser guards on the perimeter and defending the basket. Despite this, Kevin Durant has never been nominated to an All-Defensive team, and advanced analytics have consistently placed him in the bottom 10% of the league on the defensive end.
On the less glamorous end, Larry Bird didn’t have the length or athleticism of Kevin Durant, but he brought mayhem with his basketball I.Q. and 110% effort. Bird finished his career with an impressive average of 1.7 steals per game and several deflections. Larry Legend perceived the game slower than the other players on the court and utilized his mental skills to jump passing lanes, resulting in easy transition baskets for his teammates.
He also had a propensity for getting significant takeaways at crucial times, draining the life out of the rival towards the end of close games. Larry Bird concluded his career as a three-time All-Defensive pick and was regarded as the Celtics’ wandering free safety.
Clutch – Larry Bird
Kevin Durant is a phenomenal shooter who relies on his jumper in crucial times. Throughout the playoffs, he came up huge for his Thunder and Warriors teams hundreds of times and has never shied away from game-winning shots.
Larry Bird is one of the greatest clutch players of all time. He has four buzzer-beaters, which may not seem like much, but they happened at critical times. Larry Legend also appeared to increase his clutch city in the postseason, virtually pushing his Boston Celtics across the finish line at the conclusion of close games, helping secure numerous hotly contested victories.
Leadership – Larry Bird
Kevin Durant is a terrific leader. He wasn’t as outspoken at practices as Kobe Bryant was, but he worked as hard as he could on his game, becoming the NBA’s fattest gym rat for much of his career. And when K.D.’s teammates saw him working hard after lengthy sessions or throughout the summer, it inspired them to do more. Throughout his career, K.D. has led by example, humbly pushing himself and thus pushing the guys around him to be better.
Larry Bird was a New York City sewage gym rat who gained weight after eating two doughnuts and a loaf of bread. Larry Legend pushed harder than any NBA player we’ve ever seen (Kobe Bryant was right there with him), trying endlessly to develop all aspects of his game. More significantly, Bird built a toughness culture in his Boston Celtics.
Larry Bird became a legend to spectators after making enormous shots, but he was a legendary monster to his teammates because of the way he marched through suffering. Bird urged his teammates to compete hard in every possession, no matter what.
Basketball I.Q. – Larry Bird
Kevin Durant has one of the highest I.Q.s in the NBA. He’s a student of the game who takes pride in stealing from the top present NBA players as well as historical Hall-of-Famers. K.D. understands when to include his teammates, utilizing his gravity to create space for them to fire open jumpers. He also understands when to go into killer mode and strap his team to his back, taking the W home with his tremendous off-the-dribble abilities.
Larry Bird may have had the greatest I.Q. of any athlete in history. He had Chris Paul’s offensive acumen along with Gary Payton’s ability to pick off passes on defense.
Larry Legends was the stereotypical chess master competing against a group of inexperienced players. He could see six moves ahead and exploited his game knowledge to dominate a league of players who were all quicker, stronger, and more athletic.
Impact – Larry Bird
Kevin Durant had a significant effect on the Oklahoma City Thunder. As a Thunder player, he won four scoring titles and led the team to the playoffs six times, capturing one Western Conference crown and leading the league in playoff points per game four times.
Still, he didn’t win his first title until he joined Golden State alongside Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green to form a league-altering super club.
Boston finished 29-53 the year before Larry Bird joined the Celtics as a rookie in 1978-79. The next season, in his debut NBA season, Larry Legend led the Celtics to a 61-21 regular-season record and a trip to the Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics raised a banner during Bird’s second season.
Larry Bird was instrumental in transforming the Celtics from one of the league’s worst franchises to winners in two years. That is influence. Larry Bird led Boston to the playoffs every year but one, the 1988-89 season, when he played only six games due to injury.
1-on-1 Game – Kevin Durant
Larry Bird was regarded as one of the greatest team players of all time. He was a fantastic playmaker who loved nothing more than setting up his teammates with clean shots at the rim or from beyond the arc. Nonetheless, when called upon, Bird was a terrific one-on-one player. He used a slew of mid-range pump fakes to catch opposing players off guard before unleashing an uncontested J or slow-stepping into the lane for a flatfooted layup.
Kevin Durant is the best one-on-one player in the contemporary NBA. His projections for 2021-22 are astounding. He takes a league-high 13.4 hotly contested jumpers per night (the closest defender is inside 2 to 4 feet) and converts at a 52.0 eFG%. This season’s performance by K.D. is not an exception.
Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the ability to connect from mid-range and beyond the arc under stress. K.D. is also a top-five rim slasher who can finish in the lane. Durant is one of the finest one-on-one players in NBA history because of his ability to hit difficult off-the-dribble J’s and inside assaults.
Career – Larry Bird
Kevin Durant has had a fantastic career. He has two chips and four scoring crowns in his pocket. He is a nine-time All-Star, a nine-time All-NBA selection, and the 2013-14 regular-season MVP. Still, his résumé pales in comparison to Larry Bird’s.
Larry Legend has three championships and three league MVPs. He is a 12-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA selection, and three-time All-Defensive Team member. Bird has one of the most spectacular professional sports careers of any American athlete.
The final score
- Kevin Durant vs. Larry Bird 6-3
Larry Bird and Kevin Durant are two of the finest forwards to ever put on a pair of shoes. K.D.’s career is far from over. He still has time to add to his professional credentials, and he might overtake Bird in our head-to-head contest over the next several years.
For the time being, Larry Legend is the better overall player. Bird used his high basketball I.Q. and bizarre work habits to dominate the league during the 1980s, helping to resurrect a faltering Boston squad.
- Kevin Durant scored 55 points (Nets vs. Hawks, April 02, 2022)
- 60 points for Larry Bird (Celtics vs. Hawks, March 12, 1985)
Kevin Durant set a career-best in scoring while playing for the Brooklyn Nets in 2021-22. The superstar forward annihilated the Hawks’ defense, shooting 19-28 from the field, including 8-10 from three and 9-11 from the free-throw line. When a player of Durant’s caliber makes 8 three-pointers in a row, a historic game should follow, which is exactly what transpired on April 2, 2022.
Despite Durant’s scoring outburst, the Nets were defeated 122-115. It should be noted that Durant never scored more than 55 points in a single game, despite the fact that he is capable of scoring more than 60 points in a single game with relative ease. But, unlike previous exceptional scorers throughout history, K.D. is solely interested in playing team basketball and scoring effectively, rather than going after high-scoring games.
Larry Bird set a career best of 60 points against the Atlanta Hawks on March 12, 1985. Larry Bird rediscovered his range in this regular-season matchup, shooting 22-36 from the field and 15-16 from the free-throw line.
Bird hit 1-4 from three-point range, demonstrating how different the game was back in the 1980s. Bird would have easily surpassed 70 points if he had made more three-pointers.
Advantage: Larry Bird
- Kevin Durant: 18 Rebounds (Thunder vs. Timberwolves, January 26, 2011)
- Larry Bird: 21 Rebounds (Celtics vs. 76ers, November 1, 1980), (Celtics vs. Lakers, February 11, 1981), (Celtics vs. Nuggets, December 29, 1981), (Celtics vs. Bullets, March 16, 1982)
Kevin Durant is over 7 feet tall, so it is no surprise that he grabbed an astounding 18 rebounds against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 26, 2011. Kevin Durant really had a terrific all-around game, scoring 47 points on 15-28 shooting from the field and pulling down 18 rebounds.
While leading his team in rebounds (Kevin Love had 21), the Thunder won the game 118-117, making it an exciting one-point triumph. K.D. has an average of 7.1 RPG throughout his career, indicating that he has been a quality rebounder for much of his career.
Larry Bird set yet another remarkable career best in various efforts against four separate teams. This time, though, it takes the form of crashing the boards. In numerous regular-season matchups against the 76ers, Lakers, Nuggets, and Bullets, the skilled small forward set a career-best with 21 rebounds.
Larry Legend averaged 10.0 RPG over his career, indicating that he was always capable of routinely taking the ball off the rim and will go down in history as one of the most exceptional board-crashing stars from his position. Bird was absolutely outstanding as a perimeter player.
Advantage: Larry Bird
- Kevin Durant: 16 Assists (Nets vs. Pacers, April 10, 2022)
- Larry Bird: 17 Assists (Celtics vs. Warriors, February 16, 1984)
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets had another career-high performance this season, dishing up 16 assists in a 134-126 victory over the Indiana Pacers. Durant, a scorer first, is not recognized for his passing abilities, yet he is above-average in that department.
When a score-first player like Durant feeds his teammates like that, a win is usually certain, and that was the case in the game against the Indiana Pacers. Durant’s career APG average is 4.3, which is respectable but not exceptional when compared to Bird’s APG average of 6.3.
Larry Bird was not only a scorer but an all-time great playmaker from the small forward position. The Celtics player was regarded as being an effective playmaker, regularly shooting the most shots on his team or setting up his teammates when the offense required it.
The proof is in the pudding since Bird won three championships in this manner, proving that it worked. Without question, Larry was an excellent passer. The small forward has one of the greatest basketball I.Q.s in NBA history, which he exploited to rack up 17 assists against the Warriors in February 1984.
Advantage: Larry Bird
- Kevin Durant: 5 Steals (Thunder vs. Mavericks, December 13, 2008), (Thunder vs. Mavericks, April 3, 2010), (Thunder vs. Clippers, November 21, 2012), (Thunder vs. Nuggets, January 16, 2013)
- Larry Bird: 9 Steals (Celtics vs. Jazz, February 18, 1985)
Kevin Durant, who has never been named to an All-Defensive Team, recorded a career-high five steals in four different games. The first occurred against Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks in 2008 when he had five steals. K.D. last achieved it in 2013 when he had 5 steals against the Denver Nuggets as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Slim Reaper had a 1.1 SPG average compared to Larry Bird’s 1.7 SPG average, which is why he never surpassed the 5-steal mark or came close to Bird’s career-high of 9 steals.
Larry Bird had nine steals in a game against the Utah Jazz in 1985, in addition to 30 points, 12 rebounds, and ten assists. The Celtics won the game easily, 110-94, and his career-best in steals surpassed that of the whole Jazz squad.
With just three All-Defensive Team choices, the small forward was not regarded to be an exceptional defender, but he definitely knew how to punish the opponent for their bad handling and inability to create effective plays.
Bird was a hound for thefts throughout his career, whether playing passing lanes or picking the ball in one-on-one situations, as seen by his effort on February 18, 1985.
Advantage: Larry Bird
- Kevin Durant had 7 blocks against the Pelicans on October 20, 2017. (Warriors vs. Kings, February 21, 2019)
- Larry Bird has five blocks in games against the Bulls on November 4, 1981, the Clippers on December 27, 1986, and the Pistons on March 30, 1990. (Celtics vs. Hornets, November 14, 1990)
Kevin Durant, at nearly 7 feet tall, might have been a nightmare on defense for the Golden State Warriors. Because of the offensive prowess surrounding him, Durant was able to focus on his defense, which is why he blocked an incredible 7 shots on two consecutive occasions.
Durant first came against the Pelicans in 2017, when he also had 22 points and 8 rebounds. The next occurred in 2019 when K.D. dominated the Kings with 28 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 blocks.
Larry Bird blocked five shots in a single game four times, the first time in 1981 and the final time in 1990. Again, Bird was not regarded as an exceptional defender, but he was capable of blocking shots on the floor.
Bird has a career average of 0.8 BPG, with his finest season coming in 1985, when he averaged 1.2 BPG. Without a doubt, Bird was capable of zoning in defensively when necessary, despite his preference for shooting and distributing. Finally, Durant has a greater career block total than Bird.
Advantage: Kevin Durant
- Kevin Durant: 8 3-Pointers Made (Nets vs. Hawks, April 02, 2022)
- Larry Bird: 7 3-Pointers Made (Celtics vs. Mavericks, April 03, 1988), (Celtics vs. Pacers, March 04, 1991)
Kevin Durant set a career-best with eight three-pointers this season while playing for the Brooklyn Nets rather than the Golden State Warriors. The forward shot eight three-pointers against the Atlanta Hawks, despite the fact that the Nets lost the game 122-115 when K.D. scored a career-high 55 points.
The Nets were unable to seal the deal because the Hawks had enough firepower due to Trae Young’s 36-point, 10-assist outburst. Durant has a career average of 1.9 long shots per game.
According to the statistics, Larry Bird was renowned as a volume three-point shooter rather than a natural deep shot. That was not the case, as Larry Bird hit 7 three-pointers in a game against the Mavericks and Pacers. There is little doubt that the Celtics icon is one of the purest shooters of all time, and if he had played in today’s game, he would have scored far more from deep. Bird averaged 0.7 makes from deep during his career. If he had played in today’s game, he would have made at least three or four three-pointers a game during his career.
Advantage: Kevin Durant
Field Goals Made
- Kevin Durant: 19 Field-Goals Made (Thunder vs. Nuggets, February 19, 2012), (Thunder vs. Warriors, January 17, 2014), (Nets vs. Knicks, March 13, 2022), (Nets vs. Hawks, April 02, 2022)
- Larry Bird: 22 Field-Goals Made (Celtics vs. Hawks, March 12, 1985), (Celtics vs. Knicks, April 12, 1987)
Bird’s career high in field goals made is not as high as Kevin Durant’s. Despite this, the swingman made 19 shots four consecutive times, despite the fact that he could have made over 20 field goals with easy ease at various periods in his career. However, Durant’s refusal to pursue the issue and instead distribute the ball reduced his numbers.
Of course, he has shared the court with some notable ball-dominant players over his career, like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and Kyrie Irving, to name a few. Nonetheless, K.D. made 19 shots with the Thunder twice and 19 with the Nets this season. Durant went off against the Knicks and Hawks in less than two months, scoring 53 and 55 points, respectively. However, Durant’s career high in a category once again pales in comparison to Bird’s.
Larry Bird set a career-best with 22 field goals in two memorable outings in 1985 and 1987. The Celtics veteran was just unaware since he played with efficiency and aggression on March 12, 1985, and April 12, 1987, respectively, en route to 47-point and 60-point performances. When Larry was on fire, he was known to make shots all over the floor, and in those two instances, the legend was on another level offensively.
Advantage: Larry Bird
Free Throws Made
- Kevin Durant: 24 Free Throws Made (Thunder vs. Clippers, January 23, 2009)
- Larry Bird: 16 Free Throws Made (Celtics vs. Bucks, April 12, 1985)
In terms of overall points, Kevin Durant has never scored as many as Bird in a single game, but he has hit more free throws in a single game than the Celtics great. On 26 tries, the forward made 24 foul shots against the Los Angeles Clippers in January 2009. Durant, unsurprisingly, scored 46 points and topped all scorers in the game. However, Durant was unable to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to victory, as the Clippers defeated them 107-104. Nonetheless, K.D. has a free-throw advantage against Bird.
Larry Bird was not just a great mid-range shooter, but he was also skilled at attacking the rim to draw fouls. Bird, an unremarkable athlete at his peak, had to rely on his wits and natural power to make contact around the rim. Bird was also skilled at pump-faking and garnering fouls on his shoots. Bird shot 16 free throws in a single game against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 12, 1985. In the game, Bird scored 47 points.
Advantage: Kevin Durant
- Kevin Durant: 11 Turnovers (Thunder vs. Spurs, January 22, 2014)
- Larry Bird: 10 Turnovers (Celtics vs. Knicks, November 17, 1979)
Kevin Durant, like Bird, has had to deal with a lot of aggression during his career, which is why he averages 3.2 turnovers a game. Durant recorded a career-high 11 turnovers in a single game against the San Antonio Spurs in 2014, slightly outdoing Larry. Except for this time, Durant led his team to a win over the Spurs by scoring 36 points. Overall, turnovers are seen negatively, and as a result, Bird has the advantage of having a lower turnovers career-high.
Larry Bird had a career turnover rate of 3.1 per game, owing to the fact that he was a high-usage player who was compelled to produce offense for his team by scoring or creating for teammates.
Larry Bird was forced to contend with tenacious opponents throughout his career, and his passes frequently went uncaught as a result. The Celtics great also had a stunning 10 turnovers in a game against the Knicks in 1979, significantly damaging the Celtics’ 113-109 loss.
Advantage: Larry Bird
Who Was Better, Larry Bird or Kevin Durant?
Larry Bird and Kevin Durant are two of the best forwards to lace them up. K.D.’s career is far from finished. He still has time to add to his career resume, and he could pass Bird in our head-to-head matchup over the next handful of years. For now, Larry Legend is the better overall player.
Is Larry Bird the best basketball player ever?
Bird has been described as one of the greatest basketball players and greatest shooters of all time. He was selected to 12 NBA All-Star teams. Bird won three NBA championships (in 1981, 1984, and 1986) with the Celtics and won two NBA Finals MVP Awards.
Who is a better player, LeBron or Larry Bird?
James is the far superior athlete and has put up better numbers than Bird. He’s third on the all-time scoring list, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. James has been an All-Star every season except his rookie year and made the All-Defensive Team six times.
- See more: larry bird vs lebron james
Who was better, Bird or Jordan?
Bird’s career stats aren’t as glamorous as Jordan’s because his points per game average aren’t as high, but his all-around game was better. Remember, this is about the best player ever, not scorer, winner or clutch performer. What he lacks in scoring by six points, Bird makes up in other categories.
Thank you for reading my blog post about KD vs Larry Bird. I hope that you enjoyed it and found it informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.