Sizzling Stars: LeBron and KD Meet Again

OKLAHOMA CITY – The historic impact of the supremacy of LeBron James and Kevin Durant is impossible to ignore. Legends are being made before our eyes, and before All-Star weekend arrives, the NBA gives us the final regular-season meeting between two of the most uniquely gifted players compiling two of the most individually intriguing seasons ever.

No, it’s not a stretch to make such a pronouncement about two players dominating individually and who also have their teams positioned for ultimate goal: a potential NBA Finals rematch in June.

James, built like a bull at 6-foot-9 and 25o pounds and defying every traditional position on the floor, is averaging 27.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg and 6.9 apg. He’s shooting 56.5 percent overall and 42.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Heat (35-14) have won six in a row and lead the Eastern Conference by three games.

Durant is listed at 6-foot-9, but everybody knows his 235 pounds (probably a stretch) are spread out over a near-7-foot frame and boasts a ridiculously wide wing span. He’s averaging 29.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg and 4.4 apg. He’s shooting 51.9 percent overall, 43.2 percent on 3s and 90.4 percent from the free-throw line. The Thunder (39-13) own the league’s best point-differential at plus-9.1, although they trail San Antonio by one game in the loss column.

When it comes to LeBron and KD, no matter the era, the numbers don’t lie.

“They’re two unique bodies and two unique styles of play,” said former Atlanta Hawks great and 1986 scoring champ Dominique Wilkins. “Totally different, but with the same efficiency. The thing with these guys is you rarely see them take a lot of bad shots. That’s why they shoot the percentages they are. When guys have great shooting percentages, they limit their bad shot attempts. That’s what both those guys have done.”

James floats into Thursday’s game at Oklahoma City (8 p.m. ET, TNT) on a run for the ages as the only player in NBA history to reel off six consecutive 30-point games while shooting better than 60 percent in each. And forget about 60 percent, James is 66-for-92 in those games for a blistering, almost unbelievable, 71.7 percent.

It’s the kind of stretch that has practically assures him of joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to twice win consecutive MVP awards. And if he does win it this season, James and Bill Russell will be the only players named MVP four times in five seasons. Oscar Robertson — perhaps the player James most resembles — stopped Russell’s run at three in a row in 1963-64. Russell followed the next season by winning it again.

Derrick Rose‘s awesome 2010-11 MVP season stopped James at two straight and Rose could ultimately prevent him from being the first player to ever have won it five consecutive seasons.

Still, a fourth MVP would already give LeBron, at age 28, more than the three won by Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone, while tying him with Wilt Chamberlain and moving him one away from matching Michael Jordan and Russell at five. A sixth would put LeBron with Abdul-Jabbar on the mountaintop.

In any other season, Durant would be the frontrunner for his first MVP. As it is, he’s locked in a battle with Carmelo Anthony for a fourth consecutive scoring title — both lead the league at 29.0 ppg. Only Wilt (1959-66) and Jordan (1986-93), each with seven consecutive scoring titles, have won more than three in a row.

Durant is one of just five players to claim three straight: Jordan (1995-98), George Gervin (1977-80), Bob McAdoo (1973-76), Neil Johnston (1952-55) and George Miken (1948-51).

If Durant — who is also on pace to notch the ultra-rare 50-40-90 season (50 percent field goals, 40 percent 3-pointers, 90 percent free throws) — claims the scoring title, he will tie Allen Iverson and Gervin — the player Durant is most often compared to because of his slender frame and cool demeanor — with four.

Even if Durant doesn’t pick up his fourth in a row, at only 24 years old, he’s still lined up to threaten Jordan’s unprecedented, and once thought to be untouchable, 10 scoring titles.

For history in the making, stay tuned.

54 Comments

  1. abdullahi says:

    Lebron james is gonna be mvp this season again not kd

  2. Save Nash Please says:

    @Patty
    What are you doing here??? This bog belongs to LBJ and KD alone… Your kobe the black mama ain’t gonna touch that MVP award… It’s a shame why they putting the name of that ballhog on MVP race, He ain’t qualify, your kobegod do lakers more harm than good… lakers 1st 20 games he didn’t want to share the lights with D12 on a ball hog mode, 25-30+ games, He literally taken Nash game out of him, kobe is now a playmaker wanna be… Get back again when your lakers and kobegod qualified for a playoffs spot, But until they do, STFU…..

  3. caliber says:

    KD is a great player but Lebron has it all and this season is just too far away from the competition mvp lebron

  4. vahid abolhasani says:

    They both might be share the MVP this year.

  5. THE HARD FACTS says:

    everything amado said is correct, Lebron is just way over KD’s head right now, this man is unbelieveable

  6. Patty says:

    Lebron James is no Michael Jordan & he is no Kobe Bryant. The news media is pushing Lebron James.

    Go ahead and give james the MVP award right now.

  7. W/E says:

    I hope OKC does not make it to the finals cause for some reason they are not doing well vs Miami, we saw it last year and we can see it now, LBJ dominates Durant every time they face each other.

    • Patty says:

      THE MIAMI HEAT IS BLOWING OKC RIGHT OUT THE BUILDING. KEVIN DURANT IS DEFINITELY NOT THE MVP.

      OKC SHOULD GET RID OF THE COACH.

  8. Kimmy says:

    OKC vs Miami in the NBA Finals. May the best team win. Watch out for the thunder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Amado says:

    I’m here just laughing at some of these haters’ comments man. You really are pathetic! LeBron James is way more efficient, valuable, powerful, smart, and dominant than Kevin Durant! HA!

  10. Mel_Fox_76 says:

    Come on guys!
    Since the mvp award often goes to the best player of the team with the best record, KD can start to prepare his speech for the day getting the award.
    What most of you are talking about is the who-is-the-best-player-in-the-NBA-right-now-question. Interesting to see, that it’s a not a Kobe-or-LeBron-debate anymore. Now KD or LBJ. Obviously KD plays the same position as LeBron, with almost similar numbers. Otherwise they differ a lot physically and KD is more the shooting quick guy while LBJ is the L-train guy that is mostly attacking the rim.
    Being on different team basically makes it difficult to determine who is the better.
    In my eyes Oklahoma is a better team than Miami. CB1 and D-Wade are too inconsistent and the team lacks great defenders besides LBJ and D-Wade Battier is too old and slow. Westbrook might be inconsistent as well, Allen vs. Martin is a draw, but Sefolosha, Perkins and Ibaka are way better defensively than Bosh, Battier, Haslem and Anthony. Miami’s advantage WAS one more good scorer in the front court (Bosh), but since Ibaka has improved on the offensive end this advantage is gone.
    So finally, if both teams are playing the same ball in the play offs the did in the regular, Oklahoma is going to be the better team.
    But we shouldn’t not forget some other teams like the Bulls (their away record is one of the league’s best), the Spurs and may be the Clippers.

  11. THE HARD FACTS says:

    Lebron is the most dominating player in the game right now and deserves to be recognized for it, stop hating on the guy
    he is the face of the MVP

  12. KianBrandon says:

    KOBE IS THE BASKETBALL GENIUS! PROVEN!

  13. nbashgkag says:

    i argee

  14. Kobe=Ego=never greatness!
    The Joke of the season is Kobe cant even lead his All star studded team to playoff, yah thats the proof as to how good kobe is…. Kobe fans stop crying…

    KD=not yet MVP=near future greatness! (unless he gets injured)..

    LJ=MVP=Greatness now!

  15. brandon says:

    You all need to quit hating on the king. Last time I checked, LeBron stomped KD and Co. In the finals. And to say LeBron is a poor shooter is just plain idiotic. The man is shooting 71 PERCENT over SIX GAMES. Kd will get his chance at the ring but not until LeBron decides to stop being lebron lol.

  16. Game Time says:

    Much respect to KD but right now Lebron is killing it.

  17. Proof Reader says:

    This article is full of typos, grammatical inconsistencies and even one factual one. Rushed journalism.

  18. BP says:

    They both might be share the MVP this year.

  19. big cat says:

    kevin Durant over LeBron any day of the week , one thing no one ever mentions is LeBron’s sub par jump shot , his form is terrible and he’ll never be a good “pure” shooter , he just puts his head down and charges at the net most of the time flailing his arms in the air yelling and hoping to hear that whistle blow , ditto for dwade

    • Logic says:

      For people that say Lebron is not the MVP because he is not the most VALUABLE player to his team they just need to watch a full Heat game. See how the offence and defence is organize when lebron is on the floor and how the whole team looks just plain dumb when he sits. Every time he sit downs to rest, the offence just becasue ISO for Wade so he can force a difficult shot or given to Bosh to do some basic post up move. But when he gets back on, everything goes back to normal. Wade gets easy shots, Bosh gets open looks, Perimeter shooters can get open looks etc.
      He is most valuable because The chemistry and the groove that Heat has gained starting from mid last season is because of Lebron, More Proof: Lebron makes history by scoring 30+ and 60+ % shooting and heat wins 6 straight… Coincidence?! Think not!

    • Mathew says:

      Lebron takes about 3 something three pointers a game. While Durant shoots about 4 something. So not all of Lebrons jump shots are dunks and drives like you just saids.

    • BasketballStudent says:

      What Logic said is absolutely correct. Watch a Heat game, and watch how LeBron controls the flow of the game when he’s on the floor. It’s not just his numbers, which are off the charts, it’s how he dominates, plain and simple. You take him away and no one knows what to do or where to go. He is the real Most Valuable Player of the league, in it’s most literal form. As for him shooting only shots at the rim and his “ugly” jumpshot form, same problem, you probably don’t know anything about what you’re talking about, because you don’t watch the games. He’s worked on that jumpshot a lot, and while he might not have the mechanics of a Ray Allen or a Kevin Durant, it’s looking very solid and it goes in more than ever. He’s not a pure shooter, but he’s a good shooter, and he continues to improve. Not even stats support your argument, LeBron is taking many shots from mid range and beyond the three this year, and he’s doing pretty good.

  20. CROSS says:

    HOW DID THEY SPOIL THE KOBE ERA WHEN HE GOTTA RING IN 08-09 09-10.. But KD & LBJ are The best in da game right now #LAKER FAN TILL DA WORLD BLOW

  21. Francisco says:

    Two BEST playerS in Nba by far , look at efficiency both over 30, the closest only 25, LBJ THE BEST IN THE LAST 5 OR 6 YEARS, YOU could say since 2005, They spoiled Kobe era.

    • sirsparhawk says:

      Ha Kobe was never as good as these 2. Just look at his shooting % all those seasons where he averaged 28 points +, he also wasnt nearly as efficient or as dominant. All the faker fans will cry WELL HE SCORED 81 POINTS AND HAS 5 RINGS, and I counter with he needed shaq for 3 of those and pau for the other 2, Im confident Lebron and Durant could score 81 quite easily playing against a no defense team and taking 30-40 shots while being on fire and playing every minute of the game. Durant dropped 52 on an off shooting night, Imagine if he was making his shots. and didnt have to share with westbrook. These 2 will engulf kobes legend and he will be forgotten.

      • BasketballStudent says:

        Now that’s ridiculous. Please stop commenting garbage.

      • specialfriedrice says:

        100% spot on…Kobe most over rated player ever…$27million this season and he cant even carry his own team…a good team regardless of injuries…imagine what Lebron imparticly would have been able to do with the current Laker team…LBJ will go down as best player to set foot on the court…

  22. DJ3 says:

    LeBron all the way!

  23. Jim says:

    The MPV award this year is tougher than ever both stars are playing out of this world but IMO this year it has to go to Durant coz even after a major trade OKC still is a contender thanks to an increased role both to Durant and Russel.This coming from a huge James fan back from his cav days (never hated him for leaving that place he had to make do with Shaq Mo Williams and Varejao the rest were garbage)

    • Mathew says:

      The thing about it is…. Lebron is having his best career ever. I want KD to have it but Lebrons playing too great. Think about this… if Lebron finishes with a shooting percentage of over 55 perent. Then he will add a .5 percentage to that year that he shot 40%. Plus add on las year. Thats like 47%. This year would have been so great for lebron that his overall shooting percentage would be close to Jordans 50% career field goal percentage.

    • BasketballStudent says:

      Well, they did get Kevin Martin, who’s not a bad player. Not bad at all. So I’m not buying this whole “they traded Harden so they’re carrying a huge burden” thing. Sure, Harden was a great player because he could get to the rim really well with his P&R (the refs had a lot to do with that, and still do, frankly), and he could create off the dribble, but Martin almost about makes up for that with his phenomenal shooting. OKC was still going to be a great team, with or without Harden. Durant is playing very good basketball, and if it weren’t for what LeBron James is doing, he’d be the immediate MVP, which would be pretty much any other year against any other competitor in the league. But LeBron James exists. Durant is the best scorer in this league, and he deserves the scoring title, but the best player in the NBA is without a doubt LeBron James.

  24. theholyspectator says:

    as scary good as lebron is right now, KD could reach that level of scary, hes already an offensive machine..hes def a better scorer than lebron no questions about that BUT an overall built player from scoring/finding the open man to defense and overall high bball IQ, KD has a long way to go , and when its all said and done..KD just might be able to do it…dont see anyone else in the NBA thats on this kinda level..not even close to the GOD BALL level….

  25. wasmaz says:

    In the Finals last year, lebron would look for KD to guard him on almost every possession. Durant would hide behind Thabo and Harden. Until that is not the case, KD is still Robin.

    • sirsparhawk says:

      Lol so playing smart basketball makes you bad? Come on learn the game kid. Coach told thabo, their best defensive player to guard lebron, why? Because the game is about winning not playing 1v1. If thats the kind of games you wanna watch go watch the lakers. Kobe plays 1v1 every game. Think of it this way. Lebron=batman, Durant=Green Arrow. If you arent a fanboy and know anything about these 2 then you know a head to head can go either way. Also in a 1v1, even kobe admits he would stomp Lechoke but not Durant.

      • Mathew says:

        But it really hurt KD because he let a 6’5 guy guard a 6’9 guy. And thats not fair for Harden. It took him out of his game. KD has to decipline himself and not let Lebron get him in foul trouble and bully him.

      • sick says:

        @sirsparhawk LeBron = KD + Kobe anytime anyday.. Lol

  26. Kevin Durant all day over LeBron

  27. sick says:

    NBA Finals rematch..

  28. LabMonkey says:

    To me there is no doubt that he is the most valuable player in the league and in all of basketball.

    • sirsparhawk says:

      Im voting for Durant but Lebron being the cash cow of the NBA will most likely win it. Atleast he deserves it also with his super high efficiency. Durant has to share with Westbrook which kinda limits Durants options but still.

      • PSmith says:

        how is durant “sharing” with westbrook handicap him any more than james “sharing” with wade, bosh, etc? james has the whole package – he is most valuable player – durant, bryant, and anthony can battle it out for highest scorer

    • Patty says:

      LEBRON JAMES IS MAKING A FOOL OUT OF KEVIN DURANT. DWAYNE WADE HAS STOPPED KD IN HIS TRACKS.