It’s more than a bit out of hand.
It’s a complete disconnect from reality, all in the name of trying to profess something new as gospel – just to be making that damn statement. That “know better than you” revelation.
Look, we get it, Kevin Durant is a special player, a terrific talent. He, without question, was the X factor in this year’s recently completed NBA Finals.
Better than LeBron James?
Yo, peeps, put down the hookah pipe, please.
He is, in no way, either of those things.
It’s not his nature. Not his game. He’s a “play off others” performer. He’s not a “take over a game” through sheer will kind of guy.
For starters, he’s never had to be. Not in the NBA at least.
That role was handled by Russell Westbrook during KD’s entire tour at Oklahoma City, and, really, by James Harden for part of it, too. Same thing with Steph Curry this season with Golden State.
The beauty of his game is that he doesn’t, and hasn’t had to, force … anything. Durant just plays, and naturally weaves things into the flow of games – which is why often you’ll check the box score and wonder how he had 30 points.
In the finals, his scoring efficiency was superb and his timing was impeccable. Great traits.
But best in the game? Hardly.
No one was more dominant than the King in that series. As infuriating as he can be, and was during that series, with wasting so much damn time at crucial, late-game junctures trying to involve his teammates, he did take over – because he had to.
There were moments, comical moments, where he had to bull his way to the basket and awkwardly force up shots … because there was no time to mess around, to win style points. Buckets had to be made, and he went about making them in sure-fire fashion: physical domination of an opponent.
That is not something you will see in KD’s repertoire. Heck, if we're talking take-over guys, even LeBron's sidekick, Kyrie Irving, fits that bill better than Durant.
No knock against the latter there. Almost leaves his game more pure. More fine. More appealing to watch.
Funny thing is, to me he always looks goofy and gangly. His all-timer of a nickname, “Slim Reaper,” is a perfect testament to his appearance, but also his lethal impact on games.
He is graceful and smooth. He has a beautiful shooting stroke, and his shot, especially in those five games against Cleveland, deadly. He even has a nice handle, can distribute the ball pretty nifty, block a few shots and pull down his share of rebounds.
But, please, no more Paul Pierce-type insanity out there. He ain’t anywhere near LeBron. Not only does he not possess the take-over skills required to draw that comparison, he’s never had to display them.
FYI: LeBron not only averaged a triple-double in the finals, he also shot better from the floor overall than KD did, .564 to .556. Take away Game 1, when the Cavaliers inexplicably decided to leave Durant all alone the entire night, James probably ends up being the series high scorer, too – as well as being its top rebounder and assists guy.
Oh, and knock it off with the 7-footer crap with Durant. He’s 6-9. Always has been. This silly Charles Barkley reversal crap needs to stop. With the 76ers, Philly media was so desperate to hype up the guy and make his accomplishments that much more impressive, so it “shrunk” him from his college height of 6-7 to 6-3 – wow, and all those rebounds. Just amazing.
Durant? Hey, look at his ball-handling skills and that shooting. Unreal for a 7-footer, right?
Yeah, especially when the dude is 6-9.
Yo, just enjoy the guy for what he is, a great player. Not the best. He’s never going to be. But a great player. Who had a great series. Who proved to be the ultimate X factor in that series.
Nothing more. Nothing less.