Over the last couple of seasons, it has seemed like LeBron James and Kevin Durant have battled down to the wire for the MVP award. In those past two seasons, James won that battle and the more important battle of winning a championship. Even though he now has the NBA‘s crowning individual achievement with an MVP award, Durant has said many times before that winning championships is what’s most important to him.
With his Oklahoma City Thunder facing the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 7 of the first round, Durant should have some extra motivation. Now the league’s MVP, he could take his game to a whole other level in order to take home the league’s top individual and team honors in the same season. His team as a whole has looked vulnerable this postseason, but if they can get out of the first round, their scare against the Grizzlies will do them some good.
It seemed obvious to those in the basketball community that Durant would finally win an MVP this season after once again leading the league in scoring and he did. However, James, the man he’s been battling against head-to-head and in MVP races, still looms and would be the Thunder’s likely opponent if they reach the NBA Finals. Having already lost to the Heat in the Finals once before, Durant could rid himself of two demons in the course of a couple months.
While James has a longer track record, Durant is catching up quickly. These two are clearly the best in the game and could be headed on a collision course for another matchup in the Finals, if not this year, then down the road. In the past, James clearly had the upper hand. Now, with a first MVP under his belt, Durant is legitimate candidate to overthrow the King.