By Rob Kotaska
Through all my disdain for LeBron, and it was disdain rather than hate ( who has time to hate someone for being immature and arrogant?), the one thing I could always respect (aside from Game 6 against Boston, his last game as a Cav) was how hard he works. There is no doubt that when he assaults the rim that it is all about effort and aggression. It was what made his docile performance against the Mavs last year so striking. No matter what you could say about King James he was about leaving it on the floor, heaven help you if you had the audacity to stand in his way.
Then there is Kevin Durant. While I am sure that he is working just as hard there is a grace and beauty to his game that no one else in the NBA has. He glides to the rim in way that should make Mr. Drexler embarrassed to have that word in his nickname. It belongs to KD now. Having been lucky enough to grow up watching the golden era of the NBA I saw them all, save Dr. J, in their prime, live on TV. I love Bird, Magic, respected Jordan, and the rest. But Durant, at 22, he has taken it to another level.
He embraces his team in a way that MJ never did at that age, if ever. When he attacks the rim it is done without the flash, but almost matter of fact: I can do this whenever I want 1 on 1. There is never a time that I have seen where he forces shots on a regular basis. His maturity is uncanny.
That is what makes this Finals so interesting to me, the contrasting styles of the two stars. I have seen LeBron’s fierce determination before in a more concentrated form, MJ and Kobe have done that before. But I cannot recall someone like Kevin Durant. And annoying cell phone commercial aside, there does not seem to be anything not to like. He is young yet, so he has time, but I can see him being one of the greats and doing it for OKC for life. That would be a refreshing throwback for a one of kind player.