Kevin Durant finally won his first NBA championship title after the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 129-120, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals 2017. Durant gave a message for LeBron James and revealed how he inspired him to become a better player in the league.
“[James is] the only person that I was looking at since 2012,” Durant told ABC’s Doris Burke on the court after Game 5. “He’s the only one I looked at and said, ‘He’s the only guy who could look me eye-to-eye.’ I knew it was going to be a battle. I just tried to challenge him. He averaged a damn triple-double, man. You can’t stop the guy. But we battled. I told him, ‘We tied up now,’ and we gonna try to do this thing again.”
It was the second time Kevin Durant and LeBron James faced each other in the NBA Finals. Recalling in 2012, James won his first NBA championship title after the Miami Heat defeated Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. KD managed to avenge his 2012 Finals loss and projected to win multiple championship titles with the Warriors.
LeBron James congratulates Kevin Durant
James established an incredible performance in their third NBA Finals matchup against the Warriors. He averaged 33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists per game and becomes the first player in league history to average a triple-double in the Finals. Unfortunate, his effort wasn’t enough to extend the series.
Before the buzzer sounded, James approached Durant to personally congratulate him. “The King” recalled the feeling of winning his first NBA championship and the path he took before he became one of the greatest players in the league.
“It’s a great feeling,” James said. “When you’re able to work hard, you’re able to put in the work and accomplish a feat like that, it’s something that we all dream about. Growing up in our inner cities, a lot of hard work and through high school, through college, if you went to college, and through the NBA, you always hope that you will be in a position to be able to not only compete for a championship but win a championship, and it’s a great feeling.”
Will the Cavaliers and the Warriors face again in the Finals?
If they keep their core intact, it will not be a surprise if the Cavaliers and the Warriors clash again in the 2018 NBA Finals. As of now, there is no doubt that both teams are the best of their respective conferences. However, there is also a possibility that some NBA teams are planning to build their own “Super Team.”