With the recent 4-1 series defeat of the Memphis Grizzlies over the Oklahoma City Thunder, many unfair comparisons have begun to surface. Kevin Durant is widely regarded as one of the best players and athletes in the world, but the negative attention he is receiving over his most recent playoff defeat is not fair, nor is it warranted.
The comparison I have heard spoken about the two superstars is very unfair to Durant. People say, ‘Kevin Durant is nowhere near the talent of LeBron James because he took a terrible Cleveland Cavaliers team to the NBA title game, while Durant couldn’t do so with an average team without Russell Westbrook‘.
That’s not fair to Durant because of the situation he is in was much different than LeBron’s situation.
For example, when LeBron was in Cleveland, he had some solid role players surrounding him for seven seasons. Not star players, but ones that complemented his game well. He didn’t have to suffer a loss of a fellow star player suddenly and have to figure out what to do from there.
LeBron basically knew he had to be the guy and he had to take 20-30 shots a game and average 30 points per game in order to ensure the Cavs would be good enough to make a run. He knew he had to be the superstar of the league and take on most of the team’s offense.
However, for Durant, it’s a different situation. Sure, Durant’s team is much better than the one LeBron had in Cleveland, but the two are completely different players.
During the regular season, Durant didn’t even take the most shots on the team, Westbrook did. He made a solid 24 points per game in the postseason that Durant lost suddenly. Did LeBron ever lose a fellow player that he had played with all season long and a second-leading scorer all of a sudden when it mattered most? The answer: no.
Yes, LeBron is the best player in the league at 28-years-old and a nine-year vet, but Durant isn’t too far behind. The fifth-year player is just as talented and is almost on the same level as King James. However, saying Durant doesn’t belong in the same sentence with James is not fair because he didn’t take the Thunder to the Finals.
Completely different situations and if you put LeBron in Durant’s situation, you would get the same result.