With the NBA preseason kicking off over the weekend and the league’s regular season set to begin in three weeks, it’s about time to bring our attention back to one of Texas’ best athletes — Kevin Durant. He is about to start his seventh NBA season, and despite a trio of scoring titles, Durant still does not have an MVP on his mantle. That will change this season — I believe Durant will finally take home his first of many MVP trophies. Here are a few reasons why.
1. At what point is being the NBA scoring champion for three years in a row — from 2009 to 2012 — enough to beat out LeBron James or Kobe Bryant? He finished second in scoring to Carmelo Anthony last season. But in my opinion, Durant remains the league’s premier scorer. Does he need to make four out of five to have a legitimate shot? That would approach Michael Jordan territory. Between 2009 and 2012 Durant should already have had at least one MVP, and 2009-10 should have been an automatic award-winning season for him. He almost single-handedly elevated the Thunder from a 23 win team in the 2008-2009 season to a 50 win team in the 2009-2010 season. Durant must have been a pretty valuable player to pull that off. Keep in mind that at that time Russell Westbrook was still raw, and James Harden was a rookie.
2. With Westbrook out for four to six weeks with knee complications and Kevin Martin moving on to Minnesota, the onus will once again be on Durant to keep the Thunder afloat. He will be the defensive center of attention every night. Serge Ibaka is not, and has never been, a dynamic scorer. Young point guard Reggie Jackson is too wild to be consistently reliable. The Thunder bench is usually one of the NBA’s best, but at most will average around 30 points per game. Durant will have to be 40 to 50 percent of this offense in the season’s first 25 games.
3. Durant has far less to work with than James does with a loaded Heat squad. That should give Durant an edge. On that point, I think the voters finally realize what Durant has done in the last four years specifically, and he could finally get the nod as MVP.
It’s the right choice — Durant deserves it and the league won’t suffer if James or Bryant don’t win the MVP for once.