The NBA media had been fairly occupied with questioning LeBron James‘ greatness and legacy after the self-proclaimed King didn’t recover from the hump again and again in the ultimate levels of the postseason. However, the Miami Heat profitable the 2012 and the 2013 NBA Championships warranted a shift in prevalent narratives. The rise of the Kevin Durant-led Oklahoma City Thunder supplied the right segue to King James’ Kingdom which now had robust dissenters in the West. However, the rivalry between the 2 largest superstars in the NBA was based on friendship and a way of brotherhood that allowed them to understand one another’s craft. In reality, LeBron James claimed in a 2014 interview that Kevin Durant is the one man in the NBA who motivates him.
Kevin Durant profitable the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player award marked an necessary chapter for the Oklahoma City Thunder on the time. When the Big Three of LeBron, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh in Miami had been on the verge of monopolizing the league, the rise of a younger staff led by the likes of Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka supplied hope for competitors. The rise of an elite scorer like KD particularly intrigued followers because the King lastly had a challenger for his crown.
LeBron James admitted that Kevin Durant impressed him to be higher
A couple of months earlier than Durant gained his first MVP, LeBron James sat down for a candid interview with NBA TV in February of 2014. During the dialog, the then two-time NBA Champion was requested to call a participant in the NBA who motivates him. James didn’t hesitate earlier than naming KD, who was having an all-time season that 12 months.
“I really feel like [Kevin Durant is] subsequent in line…I really like the way in which he performs the sport…I’m speaking about his play. The method he performs each single evening may be very inspiring, motivating. This is a man who goes out each single evening and provides it his all,” James instructed the interviewer.
LeBron didn’t appear to care in regards to the interviewer’s adlib about KD not having any rings. And it’s fairly apparent why. The Akron Hammer himself was chastised by the media for a very long time for not having a hoop regardless of his particular person dominance.
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The four-time MVP might see Durant’s potential in the NBA. That 12 months, KD completed first in MVP voting forward of LeBron James, averaging a career-high 32 factors, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists, capturing 50.3% from the ground and 39.1% from past the arc. He had led the Thunder to the second spot in the West with a document of 59-23 whereas tallying no less than 25 factors in 41 consecutive video games. The then 25-year-old rightfully ended up with 119 first place votes out of 125 in the MVP poll, bringing his complete factors to 1232.
KD by no means noticed LeBron as his enemy
The NBA at present has plenty of MVP-caliber superstars vying for the highest spot in the league. However, the competitors in the NBA was as soon as very polarized, with LeBron James and Kevin Durant standing at two opposing poles.
However, Durant by no means actually appreciated the thought of dramatizing his competitors with James. “People see two younger black basketball gamers on the prime of their recreation and suppose we must always conflict. They need the battle. They need the hate. They overlook Bird cried for Magic,” KD as soon as mentioned.
However, the 13-time All-Star instantly clarified that simply because they share mutual respect doesn’t imply they take it straightforward towards one another on the courtroom. But there’s a distinction between competitors and tearing one another apart-Bron and KD at all times made certain to recollect the excellence, even whereas going towards one another in the NBA Finals.