We all have favorite players, that’s something we just can’t help. Either because they play in our favorite team, because of what they’ve accomplished or because the way they play the game suits our eyes.
Obviously, and basketball being such a passionate sport, more often than not, fans tend to be constantly against each other, trying to demonstrate that their favorite player is the ultimate baller and nobody can outplay it.
Over the last 5 years or so, there’s been a huge ongoing debate about if Kevin Durant is already the best player in the world. With LeBron’s fans stating that he’s great but not quite there yet, just because the King is the King.
Truth or not, we actually love both players and couldn’t care less if one’s the best player and the other’s the second best, we would love to have either on our side. Still, let’s break both players down and compare facts and not opinions to try and determine who’s a better baller.
Inside Scoring: LeBron James
There’s no human being in the world capable of stopping LeBron down the lane. Defenses always try to make him a jump shooter, because they know that once he takes flight, he’s like a bulldozer coming at you and is equally capable of finishing with both hands, being as strong as a center but as fast as a guard.
While Durant is also a great inside scorer and makes the most of his length to shoot over his defenders, he’s more known for being a pull-up kind of guy, so obviously, we have to go with LeBron here.
Outside Scoring: Kevin Durant
When it comes to outside scoring, LeBron James is a bit of an average player, arguably the only aspect of his game where he hasn’t been able to stand out from the pack. On the other hand, Durant’s as smooth as silk from all three levels.
Durant is one of the best pure shooters in the history of the game, and his ability to consistently knock down three-pointers as a 7 footer make his shots virtually unblockable for any other human being.
Playmaking: LeBron James
LeBron James is the closest thing to Magic Johnson we’ve ever seen, being a point forward that’s more than capable of running a team’s offense despite his height, always making everybody around him better.
Over the course of his career, LeBron has put averages of 7.2 assists per game, compared to Durant’s 3.9. Also, LeBron’s career high in assists is 19, while Durant has never thrown more than 10 dimes.
Athleticism: LeBron James
LeBron James is one of the toughest athletes you’ll ever see. He’s been around the league for 16 years now and is in the best shape of his career, being able to play all 82 games as if he was just entering his prime.
With him being a heavy and strong as a center, the fact that he can jump as high as he does, contour his body the way he does, and do it all at his age is just something I can’t fathom, so he obviously takes the nod here.
Defense: Kevin Durant
Even though Kevin Durant first came into the league known for his offensive expertise, he’s quietly and slowly grown to become one of the most versatile and skilled defenders in the world, especially the last couple of years.
Durant is able to lock down opposing guards, forwards and even some centers, checking players of the likes of James Harden and LeBron James himself. Even if he’s not that strong and big, he makes up for it with a huge wingspan and lateral quickness.
Rim Protection: Kevin Durant
With his length, wingspan and newly developed defensive awareness, Kevin Durant has surged as one of the league’s best rim protectors, even though his career averages of 1.1 blocks a game may not tell you that.
LeBron is known for his signature chase down blocks and coming up huge in the clutch during the playoffs, despite averaging just 0.8 swats a contest per his career. When it comes to career highs, Durant has piled up 7 blocks in a game, while James has never blocked more than 5 shots.
Rebounding: LeBron James
When it comes to rebounding, they’re both pretty similar, even though we tend to believe Kevin Durant should’ve been much better considering he’s taller, and the fact that James has been able to sustain his production for over 16 seasons.
Throughout his entire career, LeBron has put averages of 7.4 rebounds a night, while Kevin Durant has grabbed 7.1 boards a contest. Moreover, LeBron’s career high in boards is 19, while Durant has never grabbed more than 17 rebounds in a game.
Clutch: LeBron James
Over the course of his career, LeBron has always come huge during crunch time, especially pulling up for three from the left side of the key. He’s always thrived off taking matters into his own hands when it matters the most, either leading comebacks or trying to seal a win.
Kevin Durant always took a back seat in the clutch to Russell Westbrook in the Thunder, and even though he’s always been great regardless of the moment of the game, he doesn’t even need to play in clutch situations with the Dubs, as they’re usually leading by double digits at that point of the game.
Leadership: LeBron James
LeBron James has always been known for embracing a leadership role whenever he goes. He reaches out to young players, encourages them, tries to make them better players with his mentorship and is constantly cheering up for their success.
The King is always trying to create a positive environment in the team’s locker room and is known for being one of the best teammates in the league. On the other hand, Durant is more of a low profile kind of guy that’s never been the alpha dog on any of his teams.
Basketball IQ: LeBron James
Trying to think about players who are smarter or have a higher basketball IQ than LeBron James is no easy task whatsoever. We’re not saying Durant doesn’t have a great shot selection and ability to read opposing defenses, it’s just that LeBron’s IQ is from outer space.
James always seems to know where all of his teammates need to be at all times. He’s a great cutter, know how to instantly break down his opponent’s plays in both ends of the hardwood, and can even recreate entire sequences with extremely precise detail.
Better Scorer: Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is one of the greatest scorers this game has ever seen, and when it’s all said and done, he’s arguably going to go down as a top 3 scorer ever, thanks to his versatility and ability to score from all three levels.
Durant is a much better jump shooter than LeBron. Also, he’s got so many different ways to hurt you, becoming virtually unstoppable. He can create his own shot, take it all the way down to the rim, catch and shoot and play off-ball, lay it up or just pull up from three.
Impact: LeBron James
Even though you can’t deny Kevin Durant’s impact on both sides of the hardwood, it would be hard to find a more influential player than LeBron James since he entered the league, both on and off the hardwood.
When locked in, LeBron can become one of the toughest defenders in the world, and the fact that he thrives off making everybody around him better, make him impact pretty much every aspect of the game even when he doesn’t have the rock in his hands.
1 on 1 Game: Kevin Durant
LeBron is unstoppable once he takes flight and drives to the basket, and even though Durant has the length to compensate for his lack of strength and block a shot or two, he’s still going to be a handful.
Nonetheless, Durant has all the offensive tools to beat every single player in the world one on one, as he wouldn’t have the need to post up against LeBron or take him all the way to the rim, given his ability to pull up and his height advantage to just shoot over him.
Well, truth to be told, loyalty isn’t any of these guy’s fortes. On one hand, LeBron James gave up on his hometown team to try and become an NBA Champion by joining forces with Wade and Bosh, and even though you may argue he eventually came back and gave the Cavs a Championship, he left again to pursue personal glory with the Lakers.
On the other hand, Kevin Durant pulled off one of the lowest, softest moves in the history of the game and drew a lot of heat from fans and haters because of the way he vastly mishandled that situation. Both players did what’s best for them, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but neither of them is good examples of loyalty.