LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant, this is a raging debate among fans and observers alike. However, a reputable analyst believes that the Slim Reaper only surpasses its elder in one area… for the rest, it is the Chosen One that dominates the duel.
Once LeBron James will be retired, it will be a question of finding and appointing his successor as the big boss of the players of the league. For many, the question does not arise: it is about Kevin Durant. The two-time champion and 2014 MVP is considered potentially the best basketball player in the world, intrinsically. His CV would therefore be strong enough to deserve this honorary title, especially since he averaged nearly 30 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 2021-22.
However, where opinions diverge is when it comes to determining how the Nets star is already superior to the King. According to Shannon Sharpe, who officiates at Fox Sports, there’s only one area where KD is actually way above the Laker: jump shooting. In contrast, according to the NFL legend, the four-time MVP outperforms the Slim Reaper in everything else, especially in leadership:
Shannon Sharpe defends LeBron against Kevin Durant
.@ShannonSharpe on whether KD is better at 33 than LeBron at 37:
“Yeah, at jumpers, that’s it. Where it should be no question is leadership. When has KD ever been considered a leader? As a matter of fact, he ran from the leadership position. I’m taking Bron over KD in Year 20 .” pic.twitter.com/mCA9J1WdXy
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) July 18, 2022
He’s better at jumpshots, that’s all. Otherwise, LeBron scored more points last year, his shooting percentage was higher, he had more rebounds, blocked shots and steals per game. Last year, LeBron had his third-lowest assist total of his career, while Kevin Durant had his highest and only beat him by a tiny margin.
Where LeBron shouldn’t be questioned is leadership. It’s one of the most important things in team sports. When was KD considered a leader? In fact, he fled from the position of leader. He preferred to be in Golden State, where someone else could take all the criticism for him. He didn’t want to be the leader in Brooklyn.
Every time I turn around and hear “LeBron wanted Westbrook”… How is that different from KD hitching his wagon to Kyrie Irving? There is no difference. When you are a leader, the organization does things with your consent. Kevin Durant always said, “I’m not the leader, they didn’t tell me.” As the undisputed leader, what has he done? Nothing at all. So I put LeBron above KD, even in his 20th year.
Shannon Sharpe took down Kevin Durant pretty damn hard, though he’s hardly objective about LeBron James. Nevertheless, his argument stands: whether statistically or in terms of leadership, he still seems below the King.