Why Kevin Durant is better than LeBron James

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Kevin DurantUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you know that the Oklahoma City Thunder (37-12, 1st in the West) absolutely smashed the Miami Heat(35-12, 2nd in the East) at home yesterday. Granted, the game was at home for Boltsquad, but if you watched that game two things became apparent: the Thunder will seriously challenge the Heat, or anyone for that matter, for the championship and that the Durantula is better than the Akron Hammer because of intangibles.

Yes, LeBron does have two MVP’s and a scoring title to Durant’s zero MVP’s and two scoring titles, but Durant clearly has had more team success than LBJ did in his first five years with the Cleveland Cavaliers. A revolving carousel of overrated sidekicks that always fell short of expectations dominated LeBron’s tenure in Cleveland: Carlos Boozer, Delonte West, Larry Hughes, Mo Williams, Shaq, etc. LeBron carried the Cavs to one NBA Finals, in which the Spurs swept them. The disappointing NBA Finals marks the only Eastern Conference title that LBJ won while in Cleveland. Although LeBron was always the best player on the floor, he routinely lost to more balanced teams(Magic, Celtics, and Pistons) because he lacks the killer instinct to take over in the fourth quarter and dominate the game when it matters most. LBJ thrives on absolutely obliterating teams in the regular season, winning the MVP, and then losing in the playoffs because he just can’t seal the deal. LeBron’s mental toughness is that of a varsity star. He’s selfish, ringlessly egotistical, and his sense of entitlement could dwarf that of some LA-Valley trust fund babies. He tries to please everyone, which results in reinventing his image after every self-induced summer media hell storm. LeBron is all about attention all the time. The Decision? Really?

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If Kobe is the Black Mamba then LeBron is the Mocha Kitty, he does amazing things when it doesn’t matter and can rarely be found when it does matter. He’s mentality as a distributor and aversion to being called selfish hampers his ability to be aggressive in the fourth quarter. See 2011 NBA Finals for examples.  In the end, LeBron’s fourth quarter playoff ineptitude is what motivated him to take his talents to South Beach because he needed a playoff closer, Wade, to win the title for him.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Kevin Durant has quietly grown into a better superstar than LeBron could ever be. KD has been humble since he came into the league as a SuperSonic and committed to the franchise 100%. The drafting of Russell Westbrook most certainly contributed to that but, if LeBron had stayed in Cleveland, surely either ‘Melo, CP3, Howard, Bosh or another NBA superstar would have signed on to finally bring the Cavs a title. Instead, LBJ abandoned Cleveland via The Decision. Durant’s possible free agency ended that same summer when he quietly signed a long-term extension, well before the deadline, and then convinced Westbrook to do the same this past year.  It seems doubtful that LeBron was calling Boozer in 2003 and saying, “ He dude, you should stay! I know we were close but if we work our butts off, we could win a title together!”  LeBron didn’t really seem to care about the departure of Boozer because LBJ knew that his departure meant more statistics for The King, and he’s all about statistics.

Durant is undoubtedly the team leader for the Thunder, something one cannot state about James and the Heat. KD wants the ball in his hands for the final shot, whereas LeBron would rather pass it twice in a row (check this year’s All-Star game) with a championship on the line.

Kevin Durant’s demeanor and work ethic will publicly vault him ahead of LeBron as the game’s best player soon enough. Once people realize how Durant has committed to building a new franchise and developing young players, fixed his three-point shot, and made everyone around him better, he will gain the respect he deserves. LeBron’s career stats are slightly better than Durant’s, but Durant’s first five years are as good, if not better, than LeBron’s first five years. Durant is still very young, approaching his prime whereas LeBron is already in his prime, with zero rings.  Durant has been better groomed by past coaches and influences to be the consummate leader and a humble man. He resigned with the Thunder out of loyalty and respect for the franchise. No press conference and no media circus, just a personal tweet from his account, @KDTrey5.

Eric Eulau is an NBA Writer for The Sports Blitz.  You can contact him at EEulau@TheSportsBlitz.com

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4 Responses to Why Kevin Durant is better than LeBron James

  1. Brandon Dall'Orso says:

    /rant

    new rant

    i don’t understand what your team discussion does except discredit KD being better. KD has accomplished less than LBJ has thus far with superior teammates. He’s promising, but don’t act like he’s better because he hasn’t done anything that james hasn’t done. there was only one guy who rose above all others in the playoffs last year and that was nowitzki, who defeated both of these guys. does that make dirk better than them? nope. but he has more rings and has proven to be clutch over the last decade. nobody was going to cleveland to join lebron, just like no one was running to denver or new orleans to join melo or CP3. meet up in new york, california or florida, or forget about it. also, carlos boozer sucks terribly. this is a stupid article that contributes nothing new to anyone’s understanding of either of these players or the game. hater.

    /new rant

  2. Josh McSwain says:

    Dude, right on. I can’t stand all the people who are too closed minded to see this. 

  3. MarkmL says:

    seems like Lbj has his ring now with more to come. oh always won mvp. while taking over in the forth beating the thunder 3 straight. lebon must have read your comment lol and went off the next day. thank you sir for the motivation you gave him. every championship team won with another star on their team, kareem didn’t win until magic came, Mj and scottie, shaq and kobe. Today’s nba you have to have atleast 2 nba stars on the team to win a championship.

  4. MarkmL says:

    KD could never be the all around player Lebron is. He effects the game in so many ways without scoring. its more to basketball then putting points on the board you should tell durant that(no knocks on his game) put lebron in my opinion is the best all around basketball player in the game whether he had lost or won this years title.

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