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Kevin Durant Is The Best Basketball Player In The World + Our Top 5 SF Ranking 

We finish off our annual BDS rank with the small forwards and by making our pick for who the best basketball player in the world is. Check it out below.
5. Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak put up 22, 9 and 5 last season and has everyone excited about his potential. But, as of right now, it’s just potential. If Giannis can develop a lethal jump shot and add some fluidity to his game, he has a shot at being the best player in the world. The league has never seen a physical specimen like him before. As of right now, the four players ahead of him have simply done more in their careers and have pretty much all reached their ceiling.

4. Paul George

People tend forget that Paul George was boxing with prime LeBron James in the playoffs nearly five years ago. He put up about 24, 7 and 3 last season and went at it with the King once again in the playoffs, more than holding his own. PG has already been a franchise player who has had success in the playoffs with teams on his back and this season, for the first time in his career, George will have a true shot at winning an NBA title. Don’t be surprised if he steals the show in the WCF or even the Finals next June, he is one of the most lethal perimeter players of his time. George can shoot, attack the lane and defend with the best of them, and despite suffering a gruesome leg injury, he is still one of the best athletes in the league.

3. Kawhi Leonard

The best two player in the world and already arguably the best perimeter defender the league has ever seen. Kawhi Leonard is a freak of nature and has the mentality/work-ethic to one day be the best in the world. The only thing he’s missing is the ability to completely take games over with his scoring ability. As polished as he is, his offensive arsenal is still missing that “extra”. Can he hit step-back three pointers over two defenders with four seconds on the shot clock when his team is in desperate need of a bucket? The Steph, KD, Dame, Kyrie, LeBron and even IT’s of the world can. Would we have him in our top five players in the game convo if his team was sixth in the West instead of second or third? It’ll be interesting to see where Kawhi takes the Spurs in the most stacked Western Conference ever. He’s right there though.

2. LeBron James

1. Kevin Durant

Crazy right?! Ball Don’t Stop just listed LeBron James as the second best SF in the world behind a guy who joined a 73-win team after blowing a 3-1 lead to them in the playoffs. All credibility lost. Unfollow.

For the last decade, Kevin Durant was the second best SF in the world. But he ALWAYS went at LeBron James when they played one another. Whether it was a Pro Am game during the lockout or a regular season game in the middle of the year, Durant always had stellar performances against the King. When LeBron created the superteam blueprint by joining an explosive Dwyane Wade and another franchise player in Chris Bosh, Durant was a 23-year-old kid leading a group of other 20-22 year old kids and taking on three experienced veterans in the 2012 NBA Finals. It almost wasn’t fair. KD put up 31 and 6 in that series and you can bet that the competitor inside him walked away from it saying “I’m better than that guy”, despite the 4-1 loss, at that time nobody around him probably ever took it seriously, at least the fans/media certainly never and it probably burned Durant’s soul the same way it would Michael’s and Kobe’s.

KD went onto be an MVP and entered himself in the greatest scorer ever conversation by winning his fourth straight scoring titles years after. But, he knew it didn’t mean shit till he won the chip and he didn’t want to beat anyone more than he wanted to beat LeBron. In a dream scenario, in his quest to be crowned the best in the world, Durant would have to outperform James in an NBA Finals while leading his team to the title. But, the challenge to get to that stage again would be the toughest challenge of KD’s career.

While LeBron cake walked through the Eastern Conference and into the NBA Finals year after year, Durant ran into heavyweights like the Mavs, Grizzlies, Warriors and Spurs. James swept through the undermanned East, while Durant grinded through the loaded West playing in a system that never really made sense. Anyone that has ever played the game seriously knows that Russell Westbrook and KD were an awkward fit. Russ was a shoot-first PG who played at his own pace. He and Kevin took turns running ISO’s and when both guys were healthy, that reckless style ultimately nearly led them to the NBA Finals in 2016, this time against LeBron’s new superteam in Cleveland. The matchup that Durant was dying to have again. But, they didn’t get it done, Klay Thompson happened and when the Thunder went onto blow a 3-1 lead to the Warriors a lot of folks felt that KD had to get out of OKC for basketball reasons.

Kyrie Irving is one of the best PG’s and offensive players of his time, Kevin Love was an All-Star who could give you 26 points while grabbing 15 boards, long before he ever played with James. Make no mistake about it, the Cavs had the best roster in the league.

So when the Warriors were out of gas and couldn’t shoot their way past a stacked Cavs squad, they sold KD the dream. People overlook the fact that the Dubs would have never even reached the Finals again without Durant. They needed him more than he needed them. Aside from Steph Curry, nobody on that Warriors team was even close to being a franchise player, instead they were products of Steve Kerr’s system. The Cavs had three franchise players in James, Irving and Love.

Durant didn’t take a shortcut to the NBA title, he actually took a shortcut to the NBA Finals, the same shortcut that LeBron had took all these years. The odds were finally EQUAL, the circumstances and rosters were finally evenly matched. After five years, Kevin Durant was going back to the grandest stage in basketball to take on LeBron James, but this time he was prepared from all cylinders.

In the words of the legendary Ric Flair “To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man” and boy did KD ever beat James in the 2017 Finals. When it came down to the things that were important, Durant literally did everything better than LBJ. We were witnessing a dethorning before our eyes and the hoops world was way too emotional to accept it.

Numbers and percentages aside, Durant shot the ball better, he played better defense, he got to the line, hell, he even had better footwork, he came off screens better, he was more versatile and much less predictable than the greatest SF ever. KD hit jumper after jumper in LeBron’s grill from all over the floor and did it in the most important moments of a game, not when it was a 22 point blowout. When the 28-year-old would dribble up, cradle the ball and pop a three pointer in his face, the only thing James could do was push the ball back up the floor as his teammates (Kyrie/Love) watched him overpower and force his way to the rim, over and over and over again, just to hold his own on the stat sheet.

Durant struck Bron in multiple ways and from all angles on offense throughout the whole series and majority of the time James responses were layups and dunks, while his teammates caught their breathe from the chaotic pace of the game. When things got intense in Game 3 and the Cavs needed a crucial bucket to seal the deal, James was absent, while the “Easy Money Sniper” casually hit clutch dagger after clutch dagger and eventually he walked right into a three-ball and pretty much ended that series. Then he gave the camera that nasty “I f***ing told you I’m the better than that guy” look.

James put up a triple-double with 33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the five game series. Durant, the Finals MVP, put up 35, 8 and 5 while shooting 56 percent from the field, 47 percent from beyond the arc and 93% from the line. It was an efficient and versatile kill and it had absloutely nothing to do with who was on his team.

The stats don’t even tell the story.

Do a simple eye-test and watch the games closely, Durant’s points, rebounds, assists steals and blocks were much more impactful than any of James because they came consistently throughout the game whereas James got easy baskets and assists when the games were blow outs and the Dubs were basically chilling on defense.

To Durant the NBA Finals was about him vs LeBron just as much as it was about the Warriors vs the Cavs and he proved that at this stage in their careers, when it is a equal playing field, he is just a better hooper than James. He is calmer, more fundamentally sound, smoother, more patient, a better shooter, a better ball handler, more consistent and less predictable, he can strike you in more ways and can take a game over offensively better than Bron ever could and when he locks in, he’s just as good of a defender as James currently is.

Kevin Durant is the most pure basketball player in the world.

Nobody will accept this theory till KD does this again. He has to repeat it to solidfy himself. It feels like we’re the only ones who see it like this. So, eight months from now, you can look back at this ranking and at the video below then refollow us.


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