There’s always going to be a debate on who the best player in the NBA is. While the first name that typically comes to the mind is LeBron James, Kevin Durant is also right there on his heels.
To ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, Durant could even be a more deadly offensive weapon than the King. Smith recently spoke on the matter, via Fadeaway World:
“I think that Kevin Durant is one of the greatest talents this game has ever seen. But so is LeBron James. LeBron has more rings, LeBron has shown better leadership. But he can’t shoot like Kevin Durant. He doesn’t have the offensive firepower that Durant has. If you’re asking me who would I want offensively, Durant or LeBron James, it would be Kevin Durant,” Smith said.
He then went on to back up why he thinks KD is more electrifying offensively.
“Because LeBron James shooting 73% from the free-throw line ain’t cutting it. LeBron James, even though he’s improved his perimeter shooting vastly, still ain’t the shooter Kevin Durant is. No shame on LeBron, but it’s just that Kevin Durant is one of the greatest offensive players we’ve ever seen in the history of basketball. So as an offensive talent, yes I would prefer Kevin Durant,” he said.
While James could go down as the best to ever do it, Smith has a point here. Durant shoots a career 49.4% from the field and just under 90% from the line. He’s also lethal from downtown with a 38.4% clip. This season alone, KD is draining 45% of his threes.
LeBron James on the other hand has much lower numbers. A 73.3% career clip from the charity stripe and just 34.5% from long range. While LeBron is more of an all-around offensive talent when it comes to facilitating the rock, he’s a tad behind Durant in the shooting category.
This is a debate that will go on forever, but Stephen A. has a valid point. Hopefully, we’ll be lucky enough to see the two superstars face off in the NBA Finals as the Lakers and Nets remain favorites to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy. But first, LA will need to get past the Warriors on Wednesday night in the play-in.