LeBron James may have changed player movement in the NBA forever. But he’d be lucky to get to play with the players that Kevin Durant has.
LeBron James changed free agency forever in the summer of 2010 by ganging up with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat. The three of them made it to 4 straight NBA Finals, winning 2 of those.
At the time, hate for LeBron was at an absolute peak. You could argue that it was even worse than what Kevin Durant has experienced over the past 5 years or so. James embraced the role of the villain around halfway through his time in Miami to great effect.
LeBron’s 2016 redemption story won him back the vast majority of fans who’d turned on him in 2010. With the villain vacuum having barely been created, Kevin Durant stepped in effortlessly into that role.
We now take a look at the supporting cast that Kevin Durant has enjoyed since 2014.
Kevin Durant has played with better teammates than LeBron James since 2014
James went back to Cleveland to win his OG franchise a ring in 2014. He found that while the team did have upside, it wasn’t suited to his pursuit of further championship success. His arrival ushered in a Kevin Love trade by the Cavs.
He then tried several times to add more veterans to his supporting cast, with varying results. The likes of Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye and Kyle Korver signed on for the prospect of a ring. But most of the players he got were role players, not bonafide superstars.
On the other hand, KD has gone from strength to strength in terms of rosters. He had Russ and Ibaka on his squad in 2014, and he left them to go and play for the Warriors. KD’s Warriors are arguably the most talented NBA rosters of all time.
KD went to play with an MVP, the greatest 3-and-D specialist of the 21st century and a DPOY. After 3 seasons and 3 Finals appearances in the Bay Area, the Slim Reaper then teamed up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn.
Now the Nets have added James Harden to their starting lineup and LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin to their rotation. The odds are as stacked for the Nets as possible. The burden now falls squarely on KD’s shoulders to win a 3rd NBA championship.