For over a decade now, LeBron James has been the NBA's best player. A 17x All-Star, 17x All-Player, 4x MVP, and 4x Champion, King James has seen done and it all when it comes to the game of basketball, and his run at the top has been long and dominant.
But at 36-years-old, entering his 19th season, has King James' reign come to an end?
According to Kendrick Perkins, the answer is yes.
“Here’s the thing… Kevin Durant IS the best player in the world and it’s about damn time somebody dethrone King James from being the best player in the world,” Perkins said to Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports.
“We’re talking about a guy that’s going on Year 19. I don’t really know if LeBron James even cares about being the best player in the world anymore, going on at the age of 37, right? So, it’s about time that somebody finally stepped up to the plate and dethrone him because he’s been carrying the torch for so long.”
Anytime LeBron's "best player in the world" status is questioned, it's always a highly volatile and controversial take. Still, Perkins isn't the only one who has Kevin Durant wearing the crown.
Here's what a panel of 10 NBA scouts and executives had to say about what has transpired over the past few weeks and what it all means for the 2021-22 campaign.
Who is the best player in the NBA heading into the 2021-22 season?
T1. Giannis Antetokounmpo: 5 votes
T1. Kevin Durant: 5
In addition to Durant's overall offensive dominance, several of those who ultimately picked the Brooklyn Nets superstar said the difference came down to him not having the same kind of obvious flaw in his game as compared to Antetokounmpo's ongoing battle at the free throw line.
Durant has been angling for LeBron's seat for years now. Despite being considered among the top three players in basketball for the better part of a decade, this might be the first time he has surpassed James on basketball's hierarchy of stars.
And after averaging 26.9 points per game off an Achilles tear, there's certainly plenty of reason to have him pegged as the best.