After the all-too famous “Decision” where LeBron James declared he was taking his talents to South Beach, the man has been criticized in every possible fashion and has been denoted of his great game play, no matter how many fantastic performances James adds to his showcase.
The Heat won the 2012 NBA Championship on his shoulders. The star-studded 2012 USA Olympic Team is winning exhibition games against teams around the world because of James’ great defense, scoring and ability to pass the ball to the open man.
With all the evidence in front of us, can we finally say James is the best player in the game without hesitation.
My answer: yes.
During the 2011-12 NBA season, there were discussions of who was the better player James or Durant. The basketball debate went like this: Durant is one of the best scorers the league has ever seen, rebounds at a decent clip and has significantly picked up his defense from where it was when he first arrived in the league. James can change a game on either side of the ball by scoring all over the court, defending any player on an opposing team whether he is 5-foot or 7-foot, 11-inches.
The negative opinions of Durant were he isn’t a vocal leader and is sometimes outplayed by his teammate, Russell Westbrook, while James doesn’t show up in the clutch and is a quarter short of being a presence for four quarters/
James heard every word and took it out on any team he played this season and is continuing his dominance in the summer.
I like Durant and think he is the second best player in the league, behind James. Let’s face it, he doesn’t have the size, the speed or the defensive know-how of James.
These facts have been incredibly noticeable during the Olympic exhibition games. The team needs James to win, while Durant is replaceable by either a better defending Andre Iguodala or an outside scorer who also has a better developed post game in Carmelo Anthony.
Who can play like James? Absolutely no one.
James isn’t only playing brilliant one-on-one defense, but he is also reading passing lanes and is coming to help almost every teammate when they lose their defensive coverage.
Offensively, he has become just as much of a distributor as Chris Paul and Deron Williams while also hitting three-point baskets and taking it to the rim at will. He hasn’t met a player representing another country who has been able to stop him a little bit, let alone shut him down. The best attempt at defending him hasn’t even been by a human, it was the rim when he missed a monster dunk attempt.
I think his dominating performances in the playoffs and in the Olympics should prove to everyone that he is who we thought he was, one of the best players to ever play the game. We shouldn’t turn this into a David vs. Goliath match and try to say other players in the league are better than him because it isn’t even close at this point.
James is the best by far. Durant a distant second.