Durant to Dunk Kobe, LeBron

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Durant to Dunk Kobe, LeBron

Kevin Durant is giving me fits. Sure, he just lost to the Lakers in Game 1 of their 1st Round Series. And yes, they really don’t have a chance against the Lakers, but this kid is for real.

Not only did Durant win the scoring title at age 21, but he’s clearly the #2 MVP. He’s living in Utopia in — of all places — Oklahoma City. He should be in Seattle, but something amazing is happening in OKC.

Meanwhile, LeBron is living a lie in Cleveland. He doesn’t seem like he wants to be there. He’s taken control of the whole franchise. He even won the MVP because his team is more dependent on him than it was last year.

In the end — 15 years from now — Durant is going to dunk LeBron. In the 2005-2025 “NBA Game of Rock, Paper, Scissors,” LeBron will be the lucky “paper” that covers the “rock” 1 percent of the time.

Kobe‘s already been the “scissors” since 2000, and his time is short now. Eventually, Durant’s “rock” will smash Kobe’s scissors and hardly ever yield to LeBron’s “paper.”

As excited as I am about Kobe getting to 6 titles — which I believe is possible — I know that Durant could win 8. How does this game of Rock, Paper, Scissors play out? Who gets “dunked” and who is the “dunker?”

Kobe Will Lose Grip of His Scissors

Kobe is in his 14th year in the league, and he’s the best closer in the game. He’s also closing in on his fifth title.

However, the scissors he currently carries cut LeBron’s paper — and a lot of others — but won’t forever. Eventually, they’ll get dull.

How long before his scissors won’t cut anymore? I figure Kobe’s got a couple good years left. Those years can be well spent changing up his game and keeping Gasol, Bynum and Odom around.

The problem for Kobe is that he did not come into his own as the leader until 2008. Someone like LeBron or Durant came into their own as the leader in their early 20s.

Kobe did miss some time as “the man,” but he learned how to deal with that by becoming a short Olajuwon this season. Who knows what move he’ll add to his game next summer?

In this game the only thing that beats scissors is the rock. Kevin Durant’s rock will — one day — beat Kobe’s scissors. That will be the day Kobe hands the torch to Durant — and retires.

Kobe is the bridge between Jordan and today’s young stars.  He can easily hold the mantle of “best player” until the day he hangs it up.

And he’ll only hang it up when he’s shown he isn’t the best — when he gets “dunked” by Durant. Sorry Lakers fans, you know it’s coming.

Paper Works 1% of the Time for LeBron

When LeBron joins the game, he’s bringing his paper along. That paper will easily cover Durant’s rock because they are in different conferences.

LeBron will outshine Durant only because he can get more press dominating the East. Durant won’t get as much press as LeBron until he starts dominating the West — which will take a while.

LeBron can ride his ability and carry his team a long way. That “long way” may not include a title unless LeBron learns what Kobe has learned and what Durant is learning now.

You can swoop down and take over, but ultimately, your teammates have to be involved. Not involving the other guys on the team only open doors for other teams to beat you.

Every time we see LeBron and Durant soar together, I honestly believe that LeBron will not be able to catch Durant’s rock with his paper. On the way down, that’s when LeBron gets “dunked”.

There’s something about LeBron that says, “I’ve got game and I don’t need to change.” Sound like young-Kobe much?

Let’s face it. LeBron has: an old and fat Shaq, an old Jamison, a marginal Varejao and a little guy named “Boobie.”

Logo or Legend

Player Stats

LeBron James (2010 Playoffs)
Cavaliers #23 Forward
Points per Game 32.0
Rebounds per Game 7.00
Assists per Game 6.5
Efficiency Rating + 38.00
Kevin Durant (2009-2010)
Thunder #35 Small Forward
Points per Game 30.1
Rebounds per Game 7.60
Assists per Game 2.8
Efficiency Rating + 45.60

Player Facts

Lebron James

  • Born: Dec 30, 1984
  • Height: 6′ 8″
  • LeBron James’s salary in 2010 is $15,779,912.
  • LeBron was a member of the 2004 US Olympic Team.
  • LeBron was the Cavaliers first overall pick of the 2003 NBA Draft.

Kevin Durant

  • Born: Sep 29, 1988
  • Height: 6′ 9″
  • Kevin Durant’s salary in 2010 is $ 4,796,880
  • Durant was the 2007 National College Player of the Year.
  • Durant was also NBA Rookie of the Year in during the 2007-2008 season.

“They” Said

  • Thunder-Lakers: Durant’s Help Limited
  • Durant Pledges to OKC, Waits Patiently for Pledge Back
  • LeBron James Leads Cavaliers to 2-0 Lead in NBA Playoff Series

Upcoming Cavalier Games

April 22 @ Chicago 7 PM ET on TNT
April 25 @ Chicago 3:30 PM ET on ABC
April 27 vs. Chicago 1PM
April 29 @ Chicago TBD
May 01 vs. Chicago TBD

Upcoming Thunder Games

April 22 @ Chicago 7 PM ET on TNT
April 25 @ Chicago 3:30 PM ET on ABC
April 27 vs. Chicago 1PM
April 29 @ Chicago TBD
May 01 vs. Chicago TBD

I mentioned that LeBron’s paper can avoid the scissors and cover the rock and win an “accidental title.” There’s no way LeBron could go ringless, right? He’s too good.

However, remember that Jerry West and Wilt won one championship in L.A., while Bill Russell won 11 in Boston. I’m thinking the Jerry West/LeBron comparison is right on par.

Imagine LeBron as the new logo — he’s so marketable that would be an easy change — but also imagine him as the logo with one title. LeBron’s the “in, out and over you” guy who can’t finish the big one.

What’s the last important game that LeBron “closed?” Game 2 of the East Finals when he hit a lucky 3 to win the game at the buzzer. That’s luck — not instinct.

LeBron has the athleticism and the game but not the “killer instinct.” He could be taught by the right coach, but Mike Brown isn’t cutting it.

Those instincts are going to…

Durant Will Steal Kobe’s Scissors

Kevin Durant just won the scoring title at 21 years old. He’s putting up 30 points a game, but he’s also got a great team around him.

Nick Collison, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Eric Maynor, and Jeff Green all share the floor with Durant.  That’s a combined 50 points and 21 assists a night.

I know I’m discounting the other half of their team and their center. That speaks to how good OKC can be.

Durant’s future is on his team right now. Cleveland had to trade to get some “right now” in Antawn Jamison and Shaq.

Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Maynor and Green can “grow up” in basketball. Sound like the “Showtime” Lakers much?

I’ll pay to see that team on the floor. A team led by Durant — the scoring champion — and supported by stats that could balloon to 65 points and 25 assists a night.

Add that to Durant’s 30 per game, and the Thunder are routinely scoring 100 points. I love my Lakers, but we just can’t — in the words of Ferris Bueller — take that kind of heat.

Does this mean Durant is winning this game today? No. In today’s game, Durant will play his rock at the wrong times.

When Kobe can’t choose his spots anymore, Durant is going to take Kobe’s scissors and play the game two-fisted with LeBron.

Every time LeBron covers the rock, Durant will just cut the paper. Everything about Durant says, “I’ve got game, but I want to win titles, and I don’t care how I have to get there.”

Who’s the Villain?

In this scenario, who becomes the villain? Who gets the “bad guy” tag in a war between LeBron and Durant? We always cast sports stars like this, and we must make a choice.

The “King” is the bad sport who can’t close. Durant is the “up and comer” with better teammates. He’s affable and doesn’t seem the least bit fake.

LeBron is just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’ll win one title because he’s too good to go without. All the rest will be Durant’s “Russell” to James’ “Jerry.”

He’ll become the Joker to Durant’s Batman, and he’ll just have to sit there and watch Durant take over the league.  There won’t be anything he can do about it except complain to “Boobie.”

LeBron will be the logo — but Durant will be the legend.

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