Who is the best player in the NBA right now, Kevin Durant or LeBron James? That was the question posed to former perennial All-Star Dwight Howard when he made an appearance on ESPN's "First Take." After quite a bit of hemming and hawing, Howard initially tried to answer that he felt as though he was is the best player commenting that you "always have to bet on yourself."

After the assembled crowd and the hosts of the program gave him plenty of guff for sidestepping the question, he was told there was a proverbial gun to his head. Max Kellerman told him that the alien invaders had arrived and a death ray was aimed squarely at the planet.

It was up to Howard to save Earth by announcing whether he thought James or Durant was the better player at this point. The question had a larger degree of difficulty because the show was being taped in Cleveland as the Cavaliers and the Warriors are getting ready to square off in game three of the NBA Finals.

Lebron James is King no more

Finally bowing down to the pressure of the question, Howard admitted that he felt as though Durant is now the best player the league has to offer. Unsurprisingly, boos began raining down from the crowd who clearly took issue with the former big man picking against the hometown hero. Before he made his pick, he seemed to be leaning towards Durant as he laid out his case.

"KD is seven feet. He's doing things that no seven-footer has ever done before" Howard said at one point. He followed that up by saying that you could go with either one, because James is certainly still in the conversation, but one has taken the lead. As Howard laid out the evidence, another "First Take" host Molly Qerim noted it is only recently that Durant has even been mentioned in this conversation.

Durant on the big stage with James for the first time

Howard stipulated to Qerim's comment and said the reason KD is in the conversation now is that his career is in a different spot than it had been. Now that Durant is in the finals and has been near the finals the last couple of years, he's officially on a different stage.

It was clear Howard felt as though a player has to have won, or come close to winning the "big one" before they can ever be considered one of the best around.

With two games to go in the NBA finals, both Durant and James will be able to make their case for which one is better than the other. It's a safe bet that even if Howard has made his pick, the jury is going to be out for at least a little bit longer.

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