Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports
It has been over a month since Golden State Warriors’ star small forward Kevin Durant got the ultimate revenge on those who turned on him for jumping ship to the stacked Warriors team from the Oklahoma City Thunder just over a year ago. But he didn’t just get revenge. He also got the crown, the King’s crown, that had eluded him multiple times in the past, most notably in the 2012 NBA Finals.
Yep, it’s officially safe to say that there’s a new King of the NBA. The reign of LeBron James is over, and it’s not starting up again anytime soon.
But it’s not because of the former King’s lack of success whatsoever. To say LeBron’s career is on the decline is a bit of a stretch. After all, he led the Cavaliers to a 12-1 playoff record before reaching his seventh consecutive NBA Finals. In fact, the last time he wasn’t in the Finals, Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers won the championship. The reason what was once his now belongs to Durant is simple. Durant is better.
The fact that the narrative went from the idea that Durant needing to join a 73-win team in order to win his first NBA championship to the idea that the Warriors needed Durant to win this past season’s championship tells the story. His dominant and extremely consistent Finals series is the reason that narrative changed, as he put up between 31 and 39 points each game while knocking down nearly half of his three-point field goals, which he took plenty of. In one word, he was unstoppable. He put on a clinic and was ultimately the reason LeBron was embarrassed with his fifth loss in the NBA Finals, a total tied for 3rd on the all-time list.
And most notably of all, perhaps, to the Warriors haters, he didn’t let the team blow the 3-1 lead they earned.
Durant recently took a pay cut to not only stay with the Warriors but so the Warriors could keep all of their other All-Stars and maintain their stacked team. As long as he keeps doing what he is doing as the star player on perhaps the greatest team of all-time, his reign as King will not end anytime in the near future. Sorry, LeBron.
Sure, you can talk about how Durant switched teams to win his first ring. Go ahead, because LeBron did it twice, and if that matters for Durant, LeBron would have never been the King. Talk about how LeBron has won three times as many rings as Durant all you want. All I know is Durant wears LeBron’s Finals record on the back of his jersey like it’s nothing. Because when you’re the new King, those little things, those things that are even smaller than the amount of depth in the watered-down Eastern Conference LeBron gets to coast his way through every year, they just don’t get to you like they used to. A new reign has begun.