LeBron James is one of the most gifted and intellectual athletes in the world today - arguably one of the best our generation has ever seen in the sport of basketball. The one man that stands in his way to dethrone him is Kevin Durant. Everyone remembers what happened last year in the Finals when Durant outplayed James, according to critics and fans. I am here to tell you that Durant is not better than James for many different reasons.

Passing ability

Whatever you want to say to bash LeBron, you can not take away his special passing ability. LeBron is able to thread the needle on many plays and can make just about any type of pass to create easy opportunities for teammates.

James gets everyone involved and that is one of the aspects that makes him better than Durant and one of the best players in the world.

Ever since he was in high school, he was always attached to team success and doing whatever he needs to win. He gets everyone on the team involved and makes the most out of a team, Durant does not. LeBron's passing resembles the great Magic Johnson and his vision is second to none.

IQ

Kevin Durant simply does not have the basketball IQ that LeBron James has. Despite LeBron being a 6'8" 250 lb machine with tons of muscle, speed, and freakish athleticism, one of his best traits is his mind for the game. "The King" is able to dissect any defense and use it against them.

He simply knows each team's weakness and attacks it.

Durant does not use his intelligence of the game to destroy opponents but pulls up from any spot on the perimeter to sink jumpers. Being almost 7'1", he has a gifted handle for creating space at the moments notice and, as a result, no one can really block his shot. He is also agile and can finish around the rim, despite good defense.

Stats

When it comes to statistics, LeBron James still out wills Durant, but he could catch up depending on how long James plays. And with the way he is playing in this, his 15th season, he shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But when it comes down to shooting, Durant is clearly the better shot from three-point range.

But that is about it, LeBron still has improved his shooting since entering the league and he still gets the edge over Kevin Durant because he makes up for it by driving to the rim, getting fouled, and still making the shot.

When it also comes to Durant, he is not an alpha dog at times like LeBron is. When James scores in the paint plus the foul it is not the same when Durant does it, and he does not do it nearly as much as "The King" does.

And when we look at them both, I am not able to put Kevin above LeBron because of the number of championships. LeBron has three, KD has one. An article by Land of Basketball gives overall statistics for both players for their entire careers with LeBron having four season MVPs to Durant's one.

All-NBA first team, LeBron wins 11 to 5. When it comes to points, assists, and rebounds, it is pretty even. But one glaring statistic shows above all and that's assists per game with Durant at 3.9 to James's 7.2. And for overall assists in their careers, it is not even a contest.

When it comes to field-goal percentage, LeBron beats Durant, but from three-point range, it's not close with Durant shooting 38.4% compared to LeBron's 34.4% for their careers.

LeBron still has the ability to get more rings, and likewise Durant, but how can I put Durant over a player like James when he only has one ring and chose to go to the Golden State Warriors to get it. Despite what anyone says, in my opinion, he had enough to win in OKC and choked up a 3-1 series lead.

If I had to rank the two players I would put LeBron first, then Kawhi Leonard, and then Kevin Durant. Leonard would go above Durant because of his impact on the team as a whole and his defense. Durant has the ability to play terrific defense, however, we have not seen it come to fruition yet. It has come out a bit with the Warriors, but not enough.

Decisions

LeBron James has been in the shadow of fame for a long time, ever since he was in high school and he has blessed us with his hard work ethic and never having had any off the court issues or antics. This man has been absolutely dedicated to the game of basketball and has given it everything he has.

Both Kevin Durant and LeBron James had to make tough decisions for their careers, however, Kevin Durant's choice to go play for the Warriors still stands as the more polarizing and weak move in the history of basketball.

To go to a team that beat you to get to the NBA Finals and to join them was just absurd. Durant had many other destinations he could have played at and chose the easy way out by joining the powerful Golden State Warriors who won 73 games not long before he joined with the immense stars they had there already with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, Curry and Thompson being some of the best shooters the game has ever seen.

As Durant was criticized for joining the Warriors, so was LeBron James for joining the Miami Heat. But I am here to tell you that LeBron's decision does not match up with Durant's because James did not go to a team that beat him to get to the Finals and he had to work and build that team in Miami.

He did not go to a 73 win team with some of the best shooters on the planet, along with one of the best coaches in the NBA. And with one of the best systems around. I can agree that the decisions do match up somewhat because they both went to win championships, but Durant's move was significantly weaker in my opinion.

The one reason LeBron has not been able to win more championships is that he loses to the Warriors. He was able to do the impossible and defeat the Warriors down 3-1 in the series but lost the other two times. But that one championship will always be a testament to Jame's greatness and the year when he took a team without Kyrie and Love to six games against the Powerhouse Warriors by himself.

And I can make the case that Durant did not outplay Durant in last year's Finals because James averaged a triple-double, something that was never done before in NBA history.

And the sad truth is that LeBron might have to face the Warriors again in the Finals in this year's playoffs and have a tough decision to make in the offseason of where to play for years to come. Will he leave Cleveland again? He certainly does not owe the team or city anything anymore. Durant might be catching up to James, but LeBron is still "The King."

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