All the fuss has been about LeBron James this NBA offseason. "King James," as he is often referred to, grabbed all the media’s attention with his special announcement about where he was going to play next. While the media focused on James they may have missed the new "king."
While we worried about how life was in Miami for the "King," The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant was in Turkey dominating the FIBA championships. In leading the United States to its first FIBA Championship since 1994, Durant averaged 22.8 points per game, a U.S. record. Durant also set the U.S. single game scoring mark at 38, and pulled down just over six rebounds per game.
We all know James is the two-time defending NBA Most Valuable Player. Durant is the defending NBA scoring champion (the youngest ever). Durant led the Thunder to a 50-32 record and gave Kobe Bryant all he could handle in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs.
In just his third year in the league, Durant has increased his scoring by nearly 10 points per game from his rookie season (going from 20.3 points per game to 30.1 points per game). In 2009, Durant scored 30 or more points 47 times, nine more than James.
Sure, James is a great basketball player. He has it all: the size, strength and incredible ability. If you were going to start a team, however, you wouldn’t take LeBron first. Not if you were smart at least. Not only has Durant not reached 22 years of age, but he also has yet to hit his full potential.
It is a scary combination when you’re already the best player in the highest level of basketball there is, and you have yet to reach your potential. Watch out America, the new "king" is about to be crowned.