Paul Pierce: Kevin Durant, not LeBron James, is best player in NBA ‘right now’
Paul Pierce has reiterated and expanded upon his opinion that Kevin Durant “right now” is a better player than LeBron James.
The newly retired Pierce, serving as an analyst for ESPN during the NBA Finals, said that Durant “may be the best player in the world today,” not James.
Pierce’s assertion not surprisingly spawned much debate, given James typically is hailed unquestionably as the reigning king of the NBA. Despite some push-back, Pierce has since doubled down on the notion that Durant, the reigning Finals MVP, has usurped James as the NBA’s top player.
“When you look at Kevin Durant, he’s bringing something to the game we’ve never seen,” Pierce told DIME Mag. “It was the same with LeBron. You know before LeBron came along, we never seen a guy that was 6-foot-8, with this type of speed, athleticism, ball handling and just everything else you can say about his game. We’ve never seen that combination with LeBron. Now we are seeing the same thing with Kevin Durant. We’ve never seen this combination in the history of our league – a seven footer, who runs a pick and roll at the top, who shoots the ball the way he does. Plus he’s young and he’s on a team that can win multiple championships. So if you’re the guy that’s the best player on the best team and you’re winning championships, I think you are the best player. I mean it’s not far off.”
Pierce disputed the notion that his opinion of Durant is partially influenced by his rivalry with James.
“Yeah, people are going to look at it like ‘Oh I don’t like LeBron because of our battles,’” Pierce said. “But it’s not like that. I love LeBron. I think he’s one of the top five players of all-time. I’m just saying right now, Durant is the best.”
Durant’s supporting cast, at least as things currently stand in the NBA, has no equal. But does that mean Durant is a better player than James?
“I think it’s Durant’s time right now,” Pierce observed.
That opinion, perhaps, cannot be debated.