Blogtable: KD or LeBron For MVP?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


MVP: KD or LeBron? | A should-be All-Star? | Player’s flaw?



VIDEO: Kevin Durant and LeBron James staged a classic showdown last season

KD or LeBron for MVP? State your case.

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Right now, Kevin Durant. That doesn’t mean I don’t think LeBron James still is the best player in the NBA. But that’s not what the MVP necessarily honors. It’s a mix of general greatness, a sense of who had the “best” season and a weighing of several messy intangibles like relative strength of teammates and a guess at a team’s fate if the MVP candidate weren’t, y’know, ever born. I saw night in, night out what Derrick Rose did with Chicago in 2011 and had no doubt he was that season’s MVP, same as I’ve had no trouble voting LeBron No. 1 the past two years. Same goes for Durant. Now where is my right-now ballot?

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: I still believe James is the best all-around player in the game and is the first player anyone would or should pick to start a team.  However, I think the MVP award is based on the individual season — a player’s performance, his team’s performance and how much heavy lifting he’s done.  So with Russell Westbrook having been sidelined for so long, Durant gets the nod for his scoring binge and otherworldly play that has kept the Thunder at the top of the Western Conference standings right on the heels of the Pacers for best record in the NBA.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: KD. People are forgetting the undue flak Kevin Durant took after OKC lost to Memphis in the second round without Russell Westbrook. No one’s doubting his ability to carry the club now. His numbers are otherworldly. He’s taking over games late. Instead of sliding down the West standings, the Thunder have not only taken over the top spot, they’ve added a bit of cushion with wins over Golden State, Houston, Portland and San Antonio — all without Westbrook. This is nothing negative toward the great LeBron, who’s doing a ton of his damage without the in-and-out Dwyane Wade. But Durant’s performances (West Player of the Month for November, December and surely January, too) and the Thunder’s stellar record swings the MVP vote at the end of January to KD’s corner.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: KD. LeBron is still the best player in the world, better than Durant on defense and more versatile on offense, but Durant carrying the Thunder when they were vulnerable without Russell Westbrook has been an incredible display. It doesn’t matter that opponents can focus more on stopping him compared to when Westbrook was in the lineup. It doesn’t matter that Durant could have chosen to conserve energy around mid-season, knowing he will need to be this good down the stretch and through the playoffs if OKC is to make another Finals run. He has been MVP great.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comAt this point, it’s Durant. With Russell Westbrook having missed about half their games, Durant has had to carry the Thunder more than he ever has. James has been the slightly more efficient scorer this season, but Durant is using a couple of more possessions per game. And dare I say that Durant’s defense has been, at least, on par with James’. LeBron is still the best player in the world and the clear MVP when he’s fully engaged, but that hasn’t been the case this season.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: You would ask us this one before they face off for the first of two meetings during this regular season (tonight in Miami at 7:30 ET on ESPN). I think it’s safe to say that as of this date, KD has created the kind of statistical and in-game separation needed to make his own rock solid case for MVP. And let me be clear, a vote for KD is not a vote against LeBron but simply a nod to the fact that Kevin Durant has taken his game to another level this season. It doesn’t mean that Durant has overtaken LeBron as the best basketball player on the planet (which I think is a much different argument than who is having the best and most outstanding season of any player in the NBA). Bottom line, Durant is doing any and everything an elite player could do under a unique set of circumstances, without Russell Westbrook in uniform, to elevate his team to a similarly elite level. The fact that he’s currently landing on historic touchstones that put him in a category with LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nate Archibald and Oscar Robertson only solidifies his case in my eyes.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com All Ball blog: Is the season ending today? Because I won’t pick an MVP based on an incomplete performance. But if you’re forcing me to choose now — and I suppose you are you angry Blogtable — it’s really hard to choose against Kevin Durant. Even with Westbrook missing half of OKC’s games so far, KD has the Thunder rolling, with the best record in the Western Conference. And while defensively he isn’t as dominant nor versatile as James, offensively Durant is really just transcendent right now. I still think LeBron James is the best player in the NBA, but nobody has been more valuable to his team this season than Kevin Durant has been so far.

Aldo Miguel Aviñante, NBA Philippines: Kevin Durant. KD is playing on another level right now. Everybody expected OKC to fall down a bit with the injury to Westbrook, but they haven’t missed a beat because of Durant’s stellar play. Scoring is easy when you’re an NBA All-Star, there are guys like Jerry Stackhouse, Tracy McGrady and even Ricky Davis who can score in bunches, but to focus on scoring while delivering the wins — that is what separates an All-Star from becoming the MVP.

Davide Chinellato, NBA Italia: My money is on KD. The amazing month of January he’s having is just the confirmation of how good he has been this season. He has completed his transformation from pure scorer to all-around player, his assists per game have never been so high and he’s basically taking care of business for the Westbrook-less Thunder. LeBron is still the best player on the planet, but KD this season is playing way better than he is.

XiBin Yang, NBA China: Maybe LeBron is still the league’s Most Dominant Player, but to me, it looks like LeBron doesn’t quite have the same fire he did last year, in this, his quest for a fourth straight trip to The  Finals. Meanwhile, with Westbrook out for so long, Durant’s carried the Thunder on his shoulders, keeping his team at the summit of the West Conference. With a stronger ambition, Durant is playing hard, producing fantastic statistics. He deserves a MVP award.

Iñako Díaz-Guerra, NBA EspañaDurant. Without Westbrook, he is OKC’s offense. He’s an unstoppable scoring machine and is better in the little things that ever before. He is amazing to watch everyday — and, remember: he can’t take a night off every now and then in the way that a member of the Heat’s Big 3 could. LeBron is the best player in the world, but KD is closing the gap. He deserves the MVP.

62 Comments

  1. KD-KD-KD-KD all day because he’s a far more superior player & more versatile.

  2. LebronKing says:

    Give credit to KD,I would be jealous to see him win an MVP against Lebron but what KD is doing is at another level right now.Though it is still early to tell but if the award should be awarded at this time KD is a clear winner.But I still believe Lebron is still the best in the planet.Because Lebron just two years past beaten KD-WB-Harden’ OKC in the FINALS and won the SEASON and FINALS MVP.KD is inferior most of the time against Lebron’s team.Check the head to head team record including OKC’s last win against Miami in 2012 NBA FINALS’ game 1.KD and his OKC just snapped their 6game lossing skid against MIAMI :) But scoring 30 or more points in 12 games is a video game type of a player.I love KD but sorry to tell I am a real Lebron fan :) #REALTALK

  3. harris27312 says:

    to all the doubters about the rest of OKC team members remember we did win a game with out KD when he rested that shoulder but haters will be haters. KD inspire his team mates to play their best weather he is playing or not. If you ever listen to any of his interviews you will hear him say constantly of how the younger player on the team inspire him. To KD it is not an I team but the whole team. ex. Perkins being taken out to put P Jones in to defeat Miami

  4. Inspiring Leadership says:

    When we say MOST VALUABLE… how we judge actually?? Without KD, Thunder is not going to win, but without inspiring the whole roster of Thunder, KD is not going to win as well… this means that the importance of KD is as the same as inspiring the whole roster… therefore, no doubt that how valuable of KD 1 player alone is compared to his entire team… we see his impact on pushing the entire team to perform. From 1 teammate to another, Reggie, Ibaka, Lamb, Nick, Jones and Fisher, they all have been inspired and consistent lately. KD needs at least 4 guys to be inspired every game night, so he has to lead by example, his fire has burnt into each of them and reflected on the score sheet each game. And this draw the difference between KD and LBJ where LBJ has not inspiring his team to perform lately, despite how well LBJ played but he just couldn’t push the entire team to perform consistently. This has to do with inspiring leadership. This has to be KD, Kevin Durant, Kingdom Developer of OKC.

  5. KD THE BEST says:

    KDKDKDKDKD

  6. Melvina Sawyer says:

    Well i’m praying for LEBRON JAMES AS MVP..

  7. kenneth camero says:

    LBJ is still the MVP .. WHY? because KD putting his team into his shoulder .. but LBJ makes every body in team make better. remember LBJ is more leader look like than KD .. inversely LBJ team mates was hoping for him to make them better.. while KD’s team mates hoping for him to score… can you imagine how great is leBron james to his team mates.. if i didn’t mistaken kevin durant and other palyer was still chasing leBron james greatness .. in that case everybody will getting better..

  8. Ronskie says:

    KD35 no one else…

  9. pattymillsmvp says:

    How is Patty Mills not considered for MVP honours???

    He has had a stellar season and been killing it from beyond the arch. Surely this is a three man race??

    Patty Mills for MVP.

  10. NBA Fan 35 says:

    Kevin Durant is the clear winner for MVP this year. Second place is either Paul George or LaMarcus Aldridge.

  11. NBA Fanatic says:

    Most of the people on here need to seriously learn about the game of basketball and become more knowledgeable when it comes to the NBA. Half of these are all biased and based on your hate for LeBron. LeBron is not my favorite player nor are the Heat my favorite team. But these comments are just ignorant. Yes, Durant is on a scoring tear as of lately and OKC is as hot as any team in league. But what Durant has done in the past like 12 games is what LeBron did in Cleveland for 7 years. Obviously LeBron can’t win MVP every year and to this point, Durant deserves MVP. There is still plenty of the NBA season left to make this decision considering the MVP award is not given until mid-playoffs. The Heat shine particularly in the playoffs where it matters and OKC has yet to prove itself except for the year they made the finals. By the end of the year, Miami will get it together and bounce back considering they have a better record at this point than they did last season. However, the Thunder are also playing at an extremely high level even without Westbrook. Although when Westbrook comes back it will hinder KD a bit and he will cool off, so to say. At this point, Durant is the MVP. But there is half of the season left and you never know what could happen. It could stay that way or it could change. There are other players just as capable of winning MVP such as Paul George. It will be interesting to see who wins MVP, still a lot of basketball left in the season. You can win MVP of the season but that doesn’t mean you’re the best player in the league. LeBron is still the best player in the world and Durant is right there with him. Both should focus on the season and playoffs because an MVP award means nothing without a ring to go with it.

  12. ap says:

    Lebron is a better player, but Durant has been playing insanely well as of late. I think he will cool off, and it can still be close between him and Lebron, with Aldridge following along with Paul George and Chris Paul.

  13. Joey says:

    Would Lebron win a championship in San Antonio? If so, how many?

  14. basketball fan says:

    as of right now,it’s KD.lebron has been his usual stellar self,but without d-wade the heat’s record isnt so good,while the thunder’s record has been excellent with W.B. thanks to KD. also, let’s not base ourselves on stats,which is what ppl did past seasons, but on impact each player has. KD has a better PIE by a considerable margin, but it doesn’t mean bron wont catch up. if the thunder win tonight, it will finally solve the dilemna of who’s MVP this season.

  15. Abdoulaye says:

    Always LeBron or Durant. What about the other NBA players, LeMarcus A. Paul George.

  16. kenny says:

    it’s durant hes doing better in number shouting and the Thunder have a better record in much better confrence LBJ is the most over ratted player in the game if they would reff it like the rules say he would be averaging 4 or more charges and Durant got completely robed last year but now that Stern is gone maybe he woun’t be screwed again

  17. No Brainerd KD, doing it all by himself n nobody calling him a chucker, only in NY

  18. Matt says:

    LeBron’s the best player in the league, needless to say, he does it all.. Yet, he’s already been an MVP multiple times.. If many people were to have the option to see another player besides Lebron win MVP, the majority of them including myself would say KD.
    Lebron’s currently averaging 26.5 PPG, 6.5 APG, and 6.9 RPG this season.
    KD’s on a scoring rampage currently averaging 31.3 PPG, along with 5.2 APG and 7.8 RPG.
    It’s about time to see another great player be crowned MVP.

  19. That Guy says:

    For once they are all unanimous about something!

  20. lol no says:

    “but how can we be calling KD an MVP if OKC still hasn’t “won” anything but some regular season games”

    … umm, is this a serious question? Maybe because the season MVP award isn’t based on “anything but regular season games”? This has nothing to do with the postseason – was LeBron a champion when he won his first two MVP awards in Cleveland? There’s a Finals MVP award for a reason.

  21. LemW says:

    LeBron Why:
    In the playoff last season OK Thunder were sweep by San Antonio Spur. Russell Westbrook was injured game 1 of the serious. Kevin Durant did not carry the OK Thunder. Again, OK Thunder were sweep. OK Thunder have good NBA players but still were sweeped.
    On the otherhand Miami Heat beat San Antonio. When Dwayne Wade is out Lebron still will carry the Heat to victory. Remember the Indiana Pacer Playoff game. Further proof Lebron put the team on his back and won in Cleveland. LeBron James wins NBA championships, Kevin Durant puts on a great show. When Kevin Durant wins a NBA championship then maybe he’s LeBron equal.
    ~

    • Matt says:

      Do you think Lebron could have beat the spurs in the finals without Wade? No. Zero comparison there so dont even use that as an arguement. Secondly, you are talking LAST season.. We are talking MVP for THIS years season and Playoffs arent even factored in the regular season MVP.

      Next.. you say Lebron carries the Heat without Wade, I dont really see that happening at all this year. Lets put your logic towards KD carrying the Thunder without Westbrook, Durant is – He has helped the Thunder beat every top team in the West and they are currently sitting at #1 in the conference. Not to mention the West is SO much competitive than the east right now

      Moron.

      • FSUBro919 says:

        ? All Miami has in the shooting guard position besides Wade is Ray Allen and he doesnt score that much. Reggie Jackson is a really god PG so Durant isnt necessarily carrying the team when Russell Westbrooke goes out, but you still have Reggie Jackson. Lebron carried the Cavaliers to the finals by himself, Durant is no where near doing what Lebron did when he actually carried the Cavs to the finals. If scoring is your only stat that you use to describe Durant then stop.

    • kaibaboy says:

      are you serious??? spurs won against grizzles…we even did not contest with OKC…try to be in the real world:)))

  22. Saeed says:

    I think KD will be the MVP unless something really strange we see from LBJ on February.
    Durant, to me, is the best jump shooter in the history of the game but will not be the best player of all-time (definitely he is one of the best). LeBron plays real basketball better than anyone in the history of the game but because of his jump shooting he might be dominated by teams that have players like KD. Anyway KD is the MVP now and probably will be!!!

  23. drake1 says:

    Recently read that Lebron was envious of Durant having the green light to shoot. Duh, he did too but he chose to make his own all star team in Miami vs trying to lead Cleavland to a Championship. That was his choice but he can’t have it both ways. The other night Atlanta sent 3 players at Durant with time running out. Durant raised up on all three of them Splash!! That did it for me Durant is unstoppable.

  24. Really, this blog table makes me sick…KD, KD…Don’t get me wrong KD is a great player, however, notice how everyone continues to mention how great he is doing w/o RW…hmm why is that? Shouldn’t an M.V.P. do great all the time no matter who they play with or don’t?…You wanna talk about a beast, let’s talk…C’mon people have you forgotten there was once a young man that consistently took a talentless team to whole other level by himself…hmm I can’t quite remember his name…but some refer to him as “King James”…KD has talent, and is surrounded by talent, so how does that make him an M.V.P.? The fact is OKC has far enough talent to be able to win games w/o KD and just RW as well…Don’t get me wrong the way KD has been playing lately is immaculate, but prior he did nothing for his team, he was not a leader and it just going through a hot streak right now. LBJ has done it consistently forever right out the gate, and honestly just needed alittle help cause “1 man team” only goes but so far…put it like this if LBJ and KD were on switched teams, OKC would have won multiple titles already with LBJ, and Miami would not have with KD…See KD is a great scorer, but LBJ builds all around him, thus why no matter what LBJ is still M.V.P. Now if KD can grow his teammates and take OKC to the finals we can further discuss his possible contention, but until then, if we’re going on just scoring, some efficiency, and team standing then Paul George deserves it above KD, but both are still below LBJ…

  25. standard says:

    40 point if he really wishes lol
    pathetic

  26. Henrik says:

    LeBron James is still the best player and league MVP. Because of 11 games I’m not going to change my opinion. I know that LeBron is able to get 40+ points every night if he really wishes to do so.

  27. winston says:

    Are y’all serious. Is the league going to keep giving this guy the MVP until he retires. This is flat out crazy! Durant has deserved at least 2 MVP’s by now. The reason why the league is dying is because they are trying desperately to create a Michael Jordan type impact player and is SO not Lebron. A mechanical talent that is overrated and could never hold a candle to the big three of the NBA in the 1980’s (Magic, Larry and Michel). My advise to ADAM is to spread the wealth to other players in the league like Durant, Aldridge, Paul, George, Lee and even Howard. The league has got to be more than just one player if it is going to survive. LBJ = Mechanical Bull … Out!

  28. laker says:

    kd as of now….but season is not over and Lebron can gain some votes down stretch if he goes crazy which he can

  29. Stefan Mack says:

    With the way Lebron is slacking and Kevin Durant is striving, KD will win it. If Lebron starts to go beast mode though, the battle

  30. Ron says:

    DURANCHULA ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. nick says:

    LBJ is better than KD but KD is just beasting and feasting right now. he leads the nba in scoring,points and effeciency. LBJ does not lead the league in anything !!!! THIS IS KD YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    • I thought M.V.P. stood for Most Valuable Player, when did it change to Most Viable Scorer? Sure KD is scoring like crazy, really cause LBJ isn’t capable of just flipping the switch…Actually LBJ is so great he can actually control when he flips the switch, KD is just on a hot streak which is NOT the same…Before this little hot streak KD was just a good scorer, that’s it, ok now he’s a great scorer, but still that’s it…his team could have the best record in the NBA but doesn’t make them champs, ex champs, defending champs, championship contenders…hope you get my drift…in short an MVP is someone that the team can’t possibly win w/o…but how can we be calling KD an MVP if OKC still hasn’t “won” anything but some regular season games…lets have this convo again at crunch time when it counts…

      • KD for mvp says:

        please you don’t know what you are saying. yes LeBron is great but that doesn’t change the fact that KD is having a much better season than him. He is averaging more points, blocks, steals, rebounds than LeBron. His team is also doing better, this season LeBron is not performing as well as past seasons when he won the M.V.P award so stop referring to those past performances. Not to mention LeBron has more talent in Miami and the team still isn’t doing as well.

        Bottom line, if KD keeps performing at such a high level and LBJ doesn’t SERIOUSLY step up his game and still wins M.V.P .
        then I will truly know that the whole competition is made to just give the award to LeBron

      • KD? says:

        ur proving everyone’s point. It IS most valuable player. Without lebron, heat will be still in the top 2-4, but without durant, okc will be near the 6-8 (maybe 9) range… That shows how valuable he is…

  32. mj says:

    For this season Durant is the best player, he can still bring the thunder to the top without Westbrook. I can say that Durant is nearly close to MJ23.

  33. aida says:

    Ridiculous Question not even close . Im going further here L.James is not even second..Paul Geroge should be the # 2 here.

  34. tkami5 says:

    It’s Durant and it s not even close right now. And also, you guys don’t have to give the “best player on the planet” award to lebron everytime you talk. Sometimes the MVP doesnt necessarily mean “the best player” (ex. Steve Nash, maybe Derrick Rose” the give it to him because of team accomplishments and his role in them. But when a player is superior to evere other one, like durant right now, he is the best on the planet. That s simple actually and of course LBJ can change that

    • LOL says:

      No what they said is right that overall LBJ is still the best player in the game. SOrry guy. The MVP award has NEVER been given STRICTLY to the best player in the league. Maybe you’re too young to know this.

  35. MariusV says:

    I take Kevin Durant any single day. And also I hope that he gets the NBA ring

  36. KingKaash94 says:

    Huge LBJ fan here! He’s like my idol. But I have to say that Durant is the MVP right now. What he’s doing is incredible so I gotta give it to KD

  37. Tavis Moore says:

    I feel Lebron is MVP cause Lebron has been improving his numbers and constantly is needed on the heat team due to wade being out. Lebron makes everybody better on the court. KD is puting up great numbers himself but that’s due to Westbrook being out, it’s only right to give it to LeBron who been doing this all season not just a stretch of games like KD is doing

    • sirsparhawk says:

      Lol all the KD haters are funny, saying he is just scoring, funny thing is he is averaging better stats in every offensive and defensive category than Leflop. Look at their records without their sidekicks, Westbrook is out and they are top in west with like 10-5, Wade goes out and heat become chumps, sitting at like 3-6. I like how all the people who said KD said that Leflop was better like they were scared of hurting his feelings. Lebron is a great player, true, but he is at the peak of his prime and starting down hill, he will probably maintain the stats he has now until he retires. KD is already better and he has been in the league half as long as Leflop.

      My opinion is like the other 90% of the world, KD so far has earned his MVP spot. He is carrying his team, Reggie Jackson is doing great but he can barely average 15 a game, Ibaka can average 20+ but he isnt consistent, Perkins and Thabo are useless offensively, and barely useful defensively. When Leflop carried his Cavs to the playoffs he had a solid team that worked well together, but it wasnt championship material, much like Dwights Magic. I cant believe they tried saying Leflop is more versatile on offense, haha thats funny.

  38. HardlyHenry says:

    Stating Durant is just “on par” or behind LeBron on defense is not factually based. The numbers show Durant is averaging more steals and blocks, though not by a wide margin, than LeBron. Durant’s team has a better record with significantly less weapons (sorry Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefalosha would struggle to start on just about any other team) and they allow less OPPG than Miami. LeBron is a superstar elite. He is a top three guy, but Durant is just flat out better. It’s joke if the defensive argument is what is keeping LeBron close in the MVP race. It’s not like LeBron alters shots in the paint in the manner of someone like Roy Hibbert. His perimeter D isn’t “lock-down” tight. The only position LeBron imposes his will on is the PG position, and that’s usually after allowing a guard to go by to try for the follow block. Durant is not an elite defender either, but his numbers are better than LeBron’s, so what does that mean? Even the metric stats show that Durant is more efficient on the defensive end than LeBron. (There on exhaustive stats on this site if this doesn’t seem accurate, look it up). If the roles/numbers were reversed and LeBron was throwing up Durant’s numbers would this even be a discussion?

    • Bagel says:

      I was thinking the same thing the whole time I was reading this. Another site recently did a full breakdown of the difference between them. Durant is actually the best ISO play in the game. Players are only shooting 20% against him. So not sure how people keep falling back to the “he doesn’t play defence” catch.

  39. emevipeelad234 says:

    durant all day, james is a flopper. flopper doesn’t belongs to the greats or mvp talks.

    • KingJamesAllTheWay says:

      You’re just jealous, your KD has no championship yet nor an mvp award.

      Lebron will conquer the nba and the mvp trophy. KD will try and cry until he die.. haha

      • Axe says:

        U kiddin’ me?? LeBron was too weak to try to get the title on his own, so he had to run crying to the south beach

      • justsayin says:

        There’s a new “best player in the world”, regardless of the opinions of sycophants and sportswriters too gutless to break the “party line”.

        In fact he’s been better for years. But Pat Riley can run one hell of an organization. They were even better with the refs in their pockets games 2-4 against Thunder. Stern’s legacy is Bron’s undeserved sense of accomplishment.

      • Heat says:

        Two words for you: Kevin Durant. And if you still dont get it, let me simplify it for you: KD!

      • Heat says:

        Dwade is the modern Scottie Pipen. Except Dwade had a ring before Scottie came, so Dwade will always be better than Lebron as long as they play together because he has more rings. On the other hand, Lebron is not MJ because MJ dominant made his enemies hate to play against him and rather have him on the team so he drew good players to his team. Lebron wasn’t dominant enough so he had to moved himself to Dwade.

      • LOL says:

        Right haters right. It gets really old seein you guys still talk about leavin to actually get a real team. UH YEA thats what players do. Free agency. Read about it. But keep hatin tho. All the while LBJ will keep getting more rings.

  40. tanibanana says:

    the guy who’s scorching hot for the last dozen games… KD