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Former NBA Players Vote Kevin Durant, Not LeBron James, As The Best Player In the NBA

Former NBA Players Vote Kevin Durant, Not LeBron James, As The Best Player In the NBA

For the better part of a decade, LeBron James has ruled the NBA with an iron grip. As a 17x All-Star, 17x All-NBA player, and 4x NBA Champion, James has long been considered the NBA's best player.

But now, it looks as if that is starting to change.

In a 118-person poll conducted by The Athletic, 44% of former players say Kevin Durant is the best player in the world, ahead of LeBron James by over 10%.

“Durant is the best offensive player in the league. His offensive skills — jump shooting, ballhandling, free-throw shooting, offensive rebounding, passing, posting up, movement without the ball, basketball acumen — plus his height make him almost unstoppable," said Marv Roberts.

“His efficiency is peerless. He has more offensive tools than anyone except Michael Jordan and Kareem. His shooting percentages are awesome. He plays good defense too," said Harold Keeling.

“Kevin Durant’s unstoppable individually, which forces a double team or guarantees a quality shot over any opponent for the win during end-of-game situations," said Bo Kimble.

Durant was also the player most guys said they trusted to take a shot with the game on the line.

“He can get his shot against any defender, he knows how to get to his spots very well, and his shot-making ability is second-to-none.”

“I always feel like he can create and make his shot whenever he wants. He gets exactly what he wants, and I am shocked when he misses, actually. He’s one of the best shot makers and scorers I’ve ever seen.” 

For years, KD was overshadowed by LeBron in terms of praise and recognition. Where Durant succeeded, James did it better and louder. In fact, in 2012, Bron's defeat over Durant in the Finals only solidified his place at the top.

It's impossible to say for sure when exactly things started to change, but one can point to KD's tenure in Golden State as the tipping point. In three seasons with the Dubs, the star forward won back-to-back titles over James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, giving him a new and improved claim to the throne.

He moved to Brooklyn not long after and, despite tearing his Achilles, the guy hasn't lost a beat. As his team's most consistent and valuable player, it should be no surprise that many fans today consider him better than a 36-year-old LeBron.

The real question is, how long will Durant keep his place at the top?