For the second time in their storied careers, LeBron James and Kevin Durant share a home in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division. James is in a battle at the bottom of the standings trying to secure a place in the NBA playoffs for the Los Angeles Lakers, while Durant is soon to make his debut for the Phoenix Suns.
Despite always being separated geographically, Durant and James have found a way to match up 35 times since the Suns superstar was drafted in 2007. This includes three NBA Finals matchups, with James’ Miami Heat defeating Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012 and Durant’s Golden State Warriors beating James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 and 2018.
Very few players in the NBA have gotten as close of a look to what makes James such a special talent as Durant. And he spoke about that during 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend. Durant said that playing against him brings a special insight that watching him on TV simply doesn’t communicate, according to Dan Woike of The L.A. Times:
“I think everybody appreciates LeBron and what he brings to the table,” Phoenix’s Kevin Durant said. “I think we know his game inside and out. But playing against him, you realize how strong and fast he is. I think that’s something that might fly under the radar a little bit, that his athleticism is once-in-a-lifetime, in a generation, and I don’t think it’ll ever be duplicated again. That’s something that you can’t really get a feel for through the TV, just the force and the power he plays with, it’s special.”
James is listed at 6’9″ and 250 pounds. Anyone can imagine what it might be like to attempt and guard a player of that stature, but Durant says that you simply can’t understand it until you see him barreling coast-to-coast for a layup.
There are so many elements of James’ game that make him one of the greatest players in NBA history, but his sheer physical dominance will always be near the top of the list. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports, something Durant gets a glimpse of every time he steps on the court with him.
LeBron James No. 2 in jersey sales
The NBA released an update on the top-selling player and team merchandise for the 2022-23 season. The Lakers claimed the No. 1 team spot with the Warriors and Boston Celtics close behind. Meanwhile, James landed at No. 2 on the individual list, behind only Stephen Curry of the Warriors. Lakers star Anthony Davis ranked 13th and L.A. was one of just two teams to have two players in the top 15.
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