What once was a league of rivals and hatred, has come to a new age where players and coaches are friends off the court, none more than the two best players in basketball: Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
After battling it out in the NBA Finals, and in London for the 2012 Olympics you’d think Durant and James were tired of seeing each other by now right? Wrong, James and Durant in fact, have been working out together in preparation for the upcoming 2012-2013 season.
After working out together last summer during the NBA lockout, including a plethora of games Durant and James have been seeing a lot of each other these days, which brings up the question: is this good for James or Durant or the NBA in general? The answer should be simple and that is yes, it benefits everybody.
In a star stricken league, to see possibly the two best players in basketball working out together, shows the commitment of players in the NBA. Both players in their primes of their careers, (Durant: 23 years old, James: 27) just came off leading their respective teams to the NBA Finals, along with bringing gold home to their country, yet they still are working?
This kind of commitment can only make James and Durant better along with the NBA. If anybody could push James wouldn’t it be Durant and vice versa? While training last summer, both players called the training, “hell week” and so it should have been if both were pushing each other.
From an old man’s perspective, people and fans may not like this as the NBA has always been a rivalry league where teams and players hated each other. You had the Los Angeles Lakers and Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics, Micheal Jordan and the Chicago Bulls vs. Isiah Thomas and the big and bad Detroit Pistons, etc. From a rivalry perspective you may not understand why these two players would be training together, but you must realize you must play the best to be the best.
Both players contrast in their playing style, which makes the challenge even more competitive. James at 6’8 260 pounds is a physical specimen and a freakish athlete who gives you 110% percent on both ends of the court, but lacks that offensive arsenal of a Kobe Bryant or Carmelo Anthony. Durant, on the other end has the offensive arsenal that might possibly be the best in the league whether it’s shooting or getting to the basket, but at 6’9″ and 229 pounds lacks the size to be effective on defense and other areas of the game.
With both players excelling in the others weakness, it makes the training that much better as they make each other better while also learning the others tendencies. While Heat or Thunder fans may not like this activity, must understand that these are two of the greatest players in the game of basketball on this planet earth trying to get even better which only makes the brand of basketball better.
Come Christmas Day and possibly June, look for James and Durant to look even better than last season and possibly show us a little more variety in their arsenal that they may have learned from each other.