The time to make the argument is now, moving forward. If (and I am not wishing this on anyone) you were to remove Kevin Durant from the Thunder today, would they have anywhere near the best record in the NBA? Consider their mark – with Russell Westbrook (a remarkable talent in his own right) only available for half the season thus far. The Thunder are 2-0 since he underwent his latest surgery. (Small sample size, I am aware.)
Durant has no championships. LeBron has his. Kobe has a bunch. But THIS year, at THIS point, LeBron is not enough for that particular team to win it all. THIS YEAR, at THIS point, with the depth of characters around him being so young at their core, still and yet experienced enough to follow well, Kevin Durant is the Most Valuable Player in The League.
And here’s the difference: (just ask Houston) teams fear Durant’s leadership. He LOVES winning. He doesn’t just LOVE scoring. When it’s said and done, I see him in Lebron/Magic/Jordan territory – dudes that can change the games in so many places on the floor, dudes who are able to morph into different roles – and make their teams better by doing it.
Today, he does NOT have a championship? Guess what? M-V-P is not about the post-season. It is about the regular season, and my money – today – is Kevin Durant is the front-runner. Understand, this is just the beginning of this discussion. We can talk more about what his value is to a franchise, to a generation, to a company (Nike), if you’d like. They all will find their way into the future discussions.
By the way – here’s the NBA press release about him winning player of the week – again.
NEW YORK, Dec. 30, 2013 – The Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Dec. 23, through Sunday, Dec. 29.
Bosh helped Miami to a 3-1 week, which included wins over the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. He averaged 22.3 points, 8.0 rebounds (tied for 10th in the conference), 1.75 blocks and 1.25 steals. Bosh posted two point-rebound double-doubles, including a 37-point, 10-rebound effort on Dec. 28, during a 108-107 win over Portland – a game in which he connected on the game winning three-point field goal with 0.5 seconds remaining.
Durant led the Thunder to a 3-0 week behind a league-best 32.0 points on .574 shooting from the field, 10.7 rebounds (10th in the conference) and 5.7 assists. Durant posted back-to-back point-rebound double-doubles in wins over the Charlotte Bobcats and Houston Rockets. He connected on 9-of-16 (.529) three-point field goals on the week, and is shooting a career-best .426 from distance on the season.
Here is a recap of the week for Bosh and Durant:
Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
Dec. 25 @ L.A. Lakers: Recorded 23 points and 11 rebounds during a 101-95 win over the Lakers.
Dec. 27 @ Sacramento: Collected 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks during a 108-103 overtime loss to the Kings.
Dec. 28 @ Portland: Tallied 37 points, 10 rebounds and two steals in a 108-107 win over the Trail Blazers.
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Dec. 25 @ New York: Tallied 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 123-94 win against the Knicks.
Dec. 27 @ Charlotte: Posted 34 points, 12 rebounds and added six assists in an 89-85 win over the Bobcats.
Dec. 29 vs. Houston: Scored 33 points and added 13 rebounds and five assists in a 117-86 win over the Rockets.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Memphis’ Zach Randolph, Miami’s LeBron James, Minnesota’s Kevin Love, Orlando’s Arron Afflalo, Phoenix’s Miles Plumlee and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry.