So many people talk about Lebron James playing on super-teams but look at the teams he joined. He joined a 47-35 Miami Heat team which got eliminated in the first round and a Cleveland team which was not even in the playoffs
after the 2014 season. Compare that to Kevin Durant who joined a 73 win team minutes within capturing a second consecutive title and it is totally different.
People talk about Lebron taking the easy way out but there was still competition for the Miami Heat during their 4 year run. The Thunder,Spurs,Lakers,Celtics, and Pacers were all competition at the time including the Dallas Mavericks who beat them 2011. Not to mention Wade was a shell of himself beyond the first season. During the 2012 season in which Lebron captured his first championship Wade was arguably a top 5 player, the last 2 seasons Wade took a decline and Lebron James was left to carry the Miami Heat.
I do not want to be bias in this article because I respect Kevin Durant as a basketball player and he will go down a hall-of-famer just because he is that gifted offensively and is a 7 footer with perimeter skills who can pretty much guard 4-5 positions on the court. His move was a easy way to championships though, the Warriors without Durant would have contended for titles regardless if he joined or not. Stephen Curry was tearing the NBA up making history and there was no answer for what will be the greatest 3 point shooter the NBA has ever seen. Not to mention Klay Thompson who is arguably the best 3 point shooter in the game and is a phenomenal defender as well.
The game is a lot easier for Durant since Klay and Curry are constantly moving off the ball all game which makes life easier for Durant to isolate and play more freely. That is what makes Golden State so unstoppable the fact that Curry and Klay move off the ball exceptionally and wear out defenders making them chase them around all game leaving those defenders limited on the offensive side of the ball. The Warriors run a system which involves constant cutting and screens making them impossible to guard, add on that they have 3 elite 3 point shooters who can get hot enough to put a game out of reach within 3-5 minutes.
Who’s the competition? The Houston Rockets? Steam is picking up about the Rockets possibly eliminating Golden State but I just can’t see it. James Harden will have to defend Curry or Klay and we all know how fatigue got to Harden in last year’s playoffs. Yes he has Chris Paul around now to help him out with play making duties but even Chris will have to pick his poison with Curry or Klay which will capitalize on his decline on the defensive end. Chris Paul is no longer an All-NBA defender and we all know defense is Harden’s glaring weakness.
If Curry and Klay are off they can still lean on Durant to carry the offense and I think Durant would have no problem doing that, he did it 2014 without co-star Westbrook in rout to a 59-23 récord and an MVP trophy so the Warriors will not lose a step. Durant really has made matters unfair for the rest of the league, barring injury to any of their 3 superstars no one will stand a chance and I have not even mentioned Draymmond Green who is an All-NBA defender and reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
So when we compare the juggernaut Warriors to the Lebron led Heat it is totally different. Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade were never elite floor spacers, sure Lebron had perimeter threats like Mike Miller,Ray Allen,Mario Chalmers, and Shane Battier but Ray Allen was 37 way past his prime, and Mike Miller and Shane Battier were also on the backend of their careers. Mario Chalmers was practically a spot up shooter on the Heat and probably won’t be in the NBA 2 years from now. So when we compare Lebron clearly had a tougher route to titles then Durant will in the future. Again that is if Klay Thompson re-ups by signing an extension 2019 and if Curry’s ankle problems don’t become a huge issue in the future.
All signs point to Klay remaining in Golden State, he wants to make a Chicago Bulls type run with the Warriors and make history. He has it all in Golden State, only way he leaves is if the Warriors don’t offer him an amount he would agree on and another team’s blows him away with a max offer he wouldn’t be able to turn down. So when we compare Lebron’s move to Miami or even Lebron’s move to Cleveland when he joined Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love it is totally different. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were never winners on their respective franchises, Curry, Klay, and Green were in the NBA Finals for 2 consecutive seasons before Durant joined them so the path to titles for Kevin Durant is easier.
To conclude, Lebron James had to jump on 2 different franchises who were far from title contenders and he lead them to NBA titles, Durant jumped on a finished product will likely make it a dynasty assuming all 4 stay together for the next 5-7 years or possibly longer.