We’re just a few hours away from the NBA Finals match up we’ve been waiting for since the shortened season began. LeBron James and the Miami Heat will visit Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The media will make this series about LeBron’s ability to finally win himself a ring, and rightfully so, but this is also about Durant ability to show he can win.
Durant has been called the best player in the league by some members of ESPN (Skip Bayless), and fans around the globe. In reality Durant has won just as many NBA Championships as LeBron. Sure Durant has had less years to accomplish a championship, but LeBron has been a better player for a longer period of time. He still is, and proves it game in and game out. When Durant finished off the Spurs with a 34 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists, LeBron put up 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists the next night to send the Eastern Conference Finals to game seven. He one upped Durant, so lets recognize.
In a time where the regular season means nothing, and the short sample size of the playoffs means everything LeBron James is getting the short end of the stick in comparison to Durant. The reigning three time scoring champion has averaged 27.8 points per game through three rounds in the playoffs. While the MVP has averaged 30.8 points per game. I’m not saying James doesn’t get his credit, because at times he certainly does. But other times he gets shadowed by Durant even when he’s playing at a higher level than him.
LeBron was once in Durant’s shoes. A young once in a generation talent looking to win a title at a ridiculously young age. But that never happened. Experience triumphed, and several years later LeBron is still without a ring. If Durant wins perhaps he’ll be looked at like Kobe has been over his career. A winner.
Though, if he loses he may have a fate similar to his opponent in this series LeBron James.
One of the two outcomes are inevitable. Hopefully this LeBron vs. Durant debate turns into something similar to Magic vs. Bird of the 80′s when the Lakers and Celtics were playing each other on a yearly basis. That way a new era in basketball is cemented, and both players can go down as two of the greatest to ever played the game.