Miami Heat superstar LeBron James appears to have given the edge to Kevin Durant in their battle to be awarded as the 2013/14 regular season NBA MVP, with the Miami Heat superstar conceding that his great rival was 'the most consistent'.
29-year-old James is the reigning winner of the award and was the heavy favourite to collect it once again this season. However, Oklahoma City Thunder counterpart Durant has provided a hefty challenge to his status as the league's undisputed best - something that James can obviously not ignore.
"I would say he's the most consistent basketball player as far as the MVP this year, man. He's put up some great numbers," James was quoted by ESPN prior to the Heat's 107-102 defeat to the playoff chasing Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum on Wednesday night.
James is certainly right there. As well as averaging 32 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 5.5 apg, the former second overall pick also put together an incredible streak of 41 consecutive games in which he scored 25 points or more - not even the great Michael Jordan ever managed that.
James - who himself is averaging 27 ppg, 6.9 rpg and 6.4 apg - went on to claim that he was reluctant to be drawn into the MVP debate, but also conceded that it would be great for Durant if he were to finally receive such recognition.
"I think KD has had one heck of a season. And, you know, if he's rewarded with the MVP, it would be great. It would be awesome for him, for his family. He's played MVP-type basketball. I don't really get caught up into what people say. At the end of the day, they have their own votes and they go from there."
While the MVP award is important, of course, I am willing to bet that Durant would be willing to forgo it in exchange for a real shot at winning a championship.
While James has two, the closest Durant has come is when the Thunder were beaten in six games in the 2012 Finals.