Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant have not shared the court since Christmas 2018. Yet LeBron and KD are still one of the most hyped rivalries in sports today. The two future Hall of Famers have met in the NBA Finals three times, with Durant besting his rival twice. But despite KD having the edge in head-to-head playoff matchups, NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson says he still gives LeBron the upper hand over Durant.
“I gotta pick LeBron,” Iverson said to Home Team Hoops. “Man, LeBron mad as hell, bro. KD is a certified killer. It’s a tough decision. It’s difficult. But see, Durant and LeBron—there’s a difference. LeBron is a killer in his own way; he can do it all.”
Kevin Durant Has High Praise for LeBron
KD and LeBron have a storied history together. Although they may be rivals, the two future Hall of Famers have a great deal of respect for one another.
Despite having less championships and regular season Most Valuable Player awards than his former teammate Steph Curry, Durant feels James is the only active player that rivals him. Durant reaffirmed this during his postgame interview after securing his first championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2017.
“He’s the only person that I was looking at since 2012. He’s the only one I looked at and said he’s the only guy that can look me eye-to-eye,” Durant told ABC’s Doris Burke after defeating LeBron and the Cavs in the 2017 NBA Finals.
It would be the first of two championships that Durant would capture at LeBron’s expense.
Kevin Durant Sounds off on LeBron’s ‘Toxic’ Environment
While there is much mutual respect between LeBron and KD that does not stop the competitors from throwing slight jabs at each other.
In 2018 Kevin Durant sounded off about the “toxic” media environment surrounding LeBron.
“So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people. He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him. I’m like, we’re playing basketball here, and it’s not even about basketball at certain points,” Durant said to Bleacher Report in 2018.
“So, I get why anyone wouldn’t want to be in that environment because it’s toxic. Especially when the attention is B.S. attention, fluff. It’s not LeBron’s fault at all — it’s just the fact you have so many groupies in the media that love to hang on every word. Just get out of the way and let us play basketball.”
LeBron was not at all pleased with Durant’s comments.
“I was a little pissed off when I first heard it, to be honest,” James told ESPN in 2018. “I didn’t know where it stemmed from. … I was asked later that night after our game, and I didn’t want to comment because I didn’t see it, I didn’t hear [it].”
But James said that Durant later clarified his comments.
“Got a phone call from KD,” James continued. “He mentioned how he felt and how the story … how he felt the story took a twist. And as a man, I can’t, I don’t hold on to things—too long. I’m too happy in my life right now, and I don’t hold on to anything that will take away from my happiness.”