Ever since Kevin Durant captured his first ever NBA Championship earlier this year, many NBA fans have been attempting to come to a definite answer to the following question. Who is the better player? LeBron James or Kevin Durant?
The two came head to head again earlier this week on Christmas Day at the Oracle Arena, with the Golden State Warriors defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning the game 99-92 on Monday night. This was the sixth time in the last seven tries, including the 2017 NBA Finals, in which Durant got a win over James.
With this in mind, the Warriors star thinks this has now leveled the playing field between himself and his Cavaliers counterpart, saying he believes he's now on the same level as LeBron despite the difference in the amount of accolades earned throughout their careers.
Durant said, according to Mark Medina of The Mercury News: "They have seen me play at the highest level and play against a guy who people say is continuously the best player ever. I feel like I proved myself and belong in that conversation.
"Accolades and accomplishments and legacy and all that stuff and how they mean to people, I can’t talk on that. But as far as basketball skills are concerned? I’m on the same level. I feel like that moment was [LeBron] saying: 'Welcome.'"
Despite the fact James plays for a rival team, and the fact their careers have played out in two very different ways, Durant has shown appreciation for his opponent.
"Our journeys are different. We’re two different players. We have two different personalities. But when you see somebody that is just as good as you are as a basketball player, somebody that you work hard to reach their level, you look at him as if you had a healthy respect and have that mutual respect."
Both the Cavaliers and the Warriors will be playing again on Wednesday, with Cleveland visiting the Sacramento Kings, while Golden State will be hosting the Utah Jazz.