Greatness or Snakeness

The NBA (National Basketball Association) is a professional basketball league in the U.S. Throughout the years, the NBA has had superstar players who dominated the game for most of their career. From the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, and even Larry Bird, fans have always been drawn to the biggest names and enjoyed comparing them. It is said that Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA today. However, LeBron James is actually the better player to admire and play with because of a combination of aspects on and off the court, such as statistics and trophy awards, and also career choices.

Kevin has more regular season scoring titles than LeBron, but failed to average more than LeBron in that season where both players have superstars on their team. LeBron, in the regular season (2016-2017), averaged more in three major statistics than Kevin. LeBron averaged 26.4 points per game, while Kevin averaged 25.1 points per game. In trophy awards, LeBron also has more MVPs and NBA championships than Kevin. Despite the fact that both players play the same position, Kevin Durant has a height of 7’1”, while LeBron James stands at 6’8”. This is a significant height advantage over LeBron and all other players at their position. An height advantage like that has to mean that Kevin should have less problems than LeBron when playing.

LeBron is also a better role model. He has been involved in much more global/national awareness messages in the last year. He has helped sent a positive example about what is going on in the U.S. with police brutality and other negative actions that has affected the country. For example, he spoke out at the opening of the 2016 ESPYs about the pointless killings of blacks by police. By contrast, Kevin has only made a positive move for his basketball career by joining one of the best teams in the NBA to win his first championship. Joining mostly made an negative impact on basketball fans in the country. Fans started to burn the jerseys and t-shirts of him that they had. They made negative comments towards him. They said he wasn’t a loyal person and that he let his former teammates and staff down. Many started calling him names such as a coward, snake, and the recent nickname of “Cupcake”. Someone who is supposed to be looked up to wouldn’t let create many problems for the people that love him.

After 7 years of his NBA career, LeBron James decided to leave his hometown team, to join another team and help make them worthy of winning a championship. This would be his first championship. As mentioned earlier, Kevin Durant also decided to leave a team to create championship winning team, but only after 9 years of his NBA career. Both decisions shocked the entire world, but Kevin’s decision was actually the worse. His decision created problems all other NBA teams. LeBron joined a team whose previous regular season record was 45-37. Kevin joined a team whose previous record was 73-9. That broke the record for having the best regular season record in NBA history. The record before that was 72-10, which was set by Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls in 1996.

When asked to consider their success on the court alone, NBA analysts and fans might say that LeBron James and Kevin Durant on equally the best basketball players. But on closer inspection, LeBron is actually the better basketball player on and off the court. He is certainly the “face” of the NBA and admired by many more fans.

Comments (1)

Alan Li (Student 2019)
Alan Li

The 2fer helped convince me that there is some importance to contracting talented basketball players in the NBA and how having talented basketball players on a team can impact how much money a team can make. Thank you for sharing me to your document, Tyreek.