(Image source http://www.thebasketballguru.com/tag/kevin-durant/)
Throughout basketball history, we have seen a memorable number of rivalries, such as: Wilt Chamberlain vs. Bill Russell, Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird, and Dennis Rodman vs. Karl Malone, just to name a few. The 2012 finals have produced the newest player rivalry, which is between Lebron James and Kevin Durant.
We may say that the only reason they are brought in comparison is because of the situation they are in now- both one of the top leaders of their teams and they are each fighting to get their first championship ring.
Metta World Peace compares the two and gives his own opinion on each of their strengths and weaknesses. He believes that both of them are great players who got to where they are now by not being selfish and leading their teams straight to the finals:
“Both of these players are really good. It’s definitely an honor to watch two players with two good teams going at it against each other. We don’t get to see that often in our lifetime. All of that has to do with these two young players being very unselfish. Previously, we’ve gotten players that look out for themselves so they cannot lead their teams to where all the fans and the organization want to be lead, so this is very unique”.
Metta believes that if both James and Durant played at 100%, James would win because his super powers beat Durant’s super powers. Wondering what “super powers” Metta is talking about? “Basketball is a tough sport and everyone wonders why I refer to it as super powers and it’s because you have to be pretty good to be at that level”. Both players are pretty powerful and each is a little better at one thing opposed to the other, so Metta decided to tell us who he would pick in these basketball game scenarios:
Wide open shot- KEVIN DURANT. He is clutch.
At the elbow- LEBRON JAMES
Free throw line, middle of the court- KEVIN DURANT
Transition, end of game- LEBRON JAMES
Coming off of a down screen, pick and roll end of the game- KEVIN DURANT
In the post, end of the game- LEBRON JAMES
Free throws, end of the game- KEVIN DURANT
Defensive assignment- LEBRON JAMES
No time outs left- LEBRON JAMES. He is good at getting to the basket when necessary.
Although Lebron James has been previously associated in rivalry and compared to other players such as Kobe Bryant, Metta states that Bryant proves that he is the best, “I still believe that Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA. If you see him play, the shots that he makes, they are definitely harder than the shots that any other player takes and even though Lebron James passes a little bit more than him, Kobe Bryant definitely proves that he is the best player”.
Regarding James’ injury in game 4 during the last minute, Metta thinks that James shouldn’t have stayed out with only a three point difference, “The fact that there is that much trust in the other players is amazing but Kobe would have gotten back in that game and I wish Lebron had that same killer instinct. If he has to play with one leg to win, then he should”.
Despite past rivalries, right now Kevin Durant and Lebron James are neck in neck top scores in the NBA and Metta knows that no matter who James has been compared to, it will not be an easy fight, “Kevin Durant is going to bring it, he is not going to be shy”.
Along with everyone, Metta World Peace is looking forward to watching the rest of the playoffs and witnessing who will get their first championship ring ever.