Re: Durant has GOAT potential?
If stats, rings, and accolades are what determines greatness, then no. Russell with 11 rings would be the goat, or wilt with his statistical dominance would be the goat. Maybe Kareem and Jordan have a case with their superior mix of both. (Of course that raises the question...what is the correct mix and etc.)
On the other hand, using the "eye test", it's hard to say that KD can NEVER become as dominant in today's league as the aforementioned 4 were during their respective generations. Similarly it's hard to say Lebron isn't already as dominant in today's league.
Basketball is a team sport and thus it's invariably difficult to precisely measure one player's contribution to his team and his team's success across different circumstances. Ultimately, though obviously not entirely, sorting players in the upper echelon of talent really becomes an exercise in picking a personal favorite and making a case for him by selecting flattering, although ultimately arbitrary, criteria for measuring "goatness" and then providing confirming evidence, allthewhile disregardging evidence to the contrary, that suggest said player was the best according to the criteria chosen.
But um...it's not so clear why any one criteria should undoubtedly be the measuring stick of a players greatness. Great arguments can be made for any of the criteria but lets be aware that similar arguments do exist for other criteria as well.
Ultimately, it might be a better exercise to just pick one's favorite player and simply say "x is the goat and better than y because I like x better". It's obviously not sound reasoning but at least it's truthful.
Going around saying "x is better than y because...( insert rings and/or mvps and/or ppg and/or win-loss..etc)" is really just dressing up the former sentence to make it sound as if it the choice is based on clear, rational deliberation....and frankly, delusional.
If it can't even be established to a logical certainty what criteria is clearly "correct" for evaluating players...how can anyone ever hope to convince others beyond any doubt that "the goat is x"?