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LeBron-KD Argument

Not everything has to be lava about the greatest of all time.

June 07, 2018 - 12:48 pm

Kevin Durant deserves all the praise that he’s getting for last night, and probably more. He was that good. It was a truly awe-inspiring performance. And it makes that argument that he’s somehow gravytraining his way to another ring even more absurd.

But I tell you what we’re not going to do: you are not going to come in here and say that last night proves that KD is better than LeBron. Not happening. Not today. Not having it. I just got through telling you all that I’m not having an MJ-LBJ argument, so I’m sure as hell not having a Durant-LeBron argument. Not everything has to be lava about the greatest of all time.

Last night was a moment. And it was an incredible moment. Not just for what it meant for Kevin Durant and the Warriors, but LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Think about it: LeBron had a 33-point triple double and everyone yawned. If LeBron drops a triple double in the middle of the NBA Finals does it even make a sound? Not at this point.  That’s the level that he’s at right now. Anyone else has a 33-point triple double and confetti cannons are blasting all night. LeBron does it and it gets a shrug. Even when he does it on a bad ankle and with a busted up eye that’s looking worse by the day.

And even when he’s doing things like this:

So Cleveland gets that performance from LeBron. And they get 20 and 13 from Kevin Love, who was playing physical as hell and looking like a man possessed. 

And they get 15 and 6 from a new signing by the name of Rodney Hood. Oh, wait, Rodney’s been with the team for a few months now. That’s weird.  Because with the amount of time that Jordan Clarkson, aka Jordan Clankson, was playing and bricking, I figured Cleveland didn’t have any other options. But apparently they did and that option was Rodney Hood coming off the back of a milk carton and euro stepping dudes. 

They get all of that, plus an epically terrible shooting performance from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, foul trouble for Curry and Draymond Green, and they still lose. 

If you’re a competitor, that has to be soul-destroying. Absolutely crushing. You’re doing everything you can to stay alive in this series, you get a glimpse, and then here comes Kevin Durant with his cheat codes.

As J.R Smith said: "it's tough because that is what you pray for, [curry and Thompson] missing like that. Playing great defense, getting offensive rebounds and loose balls -- and they have a 7-2 guard out there cooking."

That’s the truth. KD had a giant chef’s hat on last night and he was serving up one dish after another. Here’s a tasting menu. Did you like that mid-range jumper? How about this runner? How about this thread-the-needle pass? 

And if you’re LeBron, what the hell can you? Nothing. You’re playing a better team. You needed all the breaks to go your way to get a game or two, and you got them in Game 1 and then J.R Smith happened. And you got them in game 3 and KD happened.  

As LeBron said: "you know that you can never relax. You know if you relax, they make you pay, and making you pay could cost you a game. So, it's tough, but it's all part of the competition, which I love and which I continue to lace them up [for] every night."

That’s the kind of pressure that they put you under. And in a way, that’s why it’s unfair. Because LeBron cannot have a night off. Curry and Thompson can both have off nights and they still win. LeBron added: "it's almost like playing the patriots. You can't have mistakes. They're not going to beat themselves.”

Not only are they not going to beat themselves, but if you’re LeBron, it has to feel like there are 11 of them out there. And at this point, there’s nothing he can do. There is nothing he can do to win this series because he has done everything and his team hasn’t won a game. There is nothing left. And for a guy who can do pretty much anything, that has to be the worst feeling ever.

Friday might be LeBron’s last game in Cleveland and it might not be. We can save the speculating for another day. If he leaves, I wouldn't blame him. And if he stays, I wouldn't blame him for that either. Because when you see him now, on that busted ankle and with the messed up eye, and who knows what other injuries he's carrying and not showing, you can't say that he hasn't left it all on the court.