Comparing him to Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, many basketball fans have engaged in a heated debate over whether or not LeBron James is the greatest NBA player of all time. However, LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the Golden State Warriors who clinched the 2018 NBA championship and the finals MVP trophy went to Kevin Durant. Now, Durant offers his own insights into the criteria for winning the lofty honor.
Yahoo Sports reported that Durant respects the Warriors’ very talented roster and that it is tougher to be a standout in such a gifted crowd. His comments led many to believe that perhaps he was alluding to LeBron’s remarkable one-man show.
“I feel like it’s easy to be the best player when you don’t have good players around you. I feel like it’s harder to stand out when you have great players around you,” Durant told Yahoo Sports.
After a slew of late-season trades, making it to the finals again seemed like a longshot for the Cavaliers. But LeBron stepped up averaging 34 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 10 assists and one block, according to ESPN. King James shot 52.7 percent from the field and an impressive 84.2 percent from the free throw line. He also managed 33.3 percent from behind the arc. In spite of all his efforts and playing through a hand injury, the Warriors swept Cleveland in four games.
Durant has won his second championship since leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder and has become only the 11th player to win multiple MVP awards in the NBA Finals. Though surrounded by the likes of Steph Curry and Draymond Green, Durant’s stats in series against Cleveland were still just as impressive as LeBron’s. The MVP averaged 28.8 points on 52.6 percent shooting from the field, 10.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and two blocks per game with 40 percent accuracy from three-point land.
Durant doesn’t seem to be worried about the comparisons, though. He told Yahoo Sports that he is his best and only competition. Durant is focused on becoming a better player and puts in the work needed to produce superior results. His move to Golden State may have been unpopular, but Durant is convinced that it was the right move for him. His teammates make him better and the journey, he said, is more important than the destination.
“I pride myself on standing out wherever I am. I pride myself on working hard wherever I go. And I feel like these guys embraced me and I feel like I’m a Warrior,” Durant said.