Smack, Twitter / Jun 16, 2014 / 12:15 pm

Kevin Durant Would Take Paul George Over 2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George (Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports)

The San Antonio Spurs have won a fifth NBA Championship in 47 seasons. The win was fueled — in a large part — by upcoming star Kawhi Leonard who became the youngest Bill Russell Finals MVP since Magic Johnson won a pair — in 1980 and 1982 — before turning 23. Despite Kawhi’s ascension, it seems 2014 regular season MVP Kevin Durant responded negatively to a tweet claiming Kawhi was a superior player to Paul George.

Twitter was blown away by the production of the former San Diego State product and one tweeter went so far as to rank him above Indiana Pacers all-star Paul George. Kevin Durant disagreed quite strongly with the fan and responded, “u trippin bro,” before taking down his tweet, which we’ve captured for posterity below:

Kevin Durant Twitter Reply

Kevin Durant Twitter Reply (photo. @JoshEberley)

Obviously, this could have just been a response to seemingly hyperbolic reactions after Kawhi’s fantastic 2014 NBA Finals, but it’s worth noting Kawhi has never been named to an all-star team and was only just named to the All-Defensive Second Team. George, meanwhile, in just one more season than Kawhi, has already made two all-star teams, won a Most Improved Player award, named to the All-NBA Third team the last two seasons, was an All-Defensive Second Team selection last year and All-Defensive First Team this year while finishing within the top 10 (No. 9) in MVP voting.

Kawhi Leonard is a special player who shined on the biggest stage in the game, but we think Durant was merely pointing out the discrepancy of tweeting in-the-moment rather than reflecting on the full season of both excellent wing players.

Here’s their comparison, via basketball-reference.com, between Kawhi’s third season and George’s fourth.

Is Paul George better than Kawhi Leonard?

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  • Jay Hill

    I like Durant but he’s going to be another Barkley, Iverson, Malone, Kemp, Payton, and anyone else that was great but couldn’t get it done.

  • 2cents

    I got into it with another member on the forums here over Barkely’s similar comments. This is however just a tweet from Durant and he didn’t explain his position, so I am not going to read too much into it. I think Leonard is awesome and has the talent to be a superstar, but lets just give him a few years and perhaps a few seasons with out Duncan/Ginobili to see if he was just the player in a great system, or if he really has the desire to be great on an everyday basis.

  • Errol Tecson

    bro payton got it in miami 2006

  • UncheckedAggression

    Durant’s right. You’re a damn fool if you think Kawhi is a better player than Paul George right now.

    It’s just more absurdity stemming from the fact that Kawhi won a title. No context whatsoever. I love Kawhi but the fact that no one knew who the finals MVP was gonna be speaks to how great of an all-around team the Spurs are. Unlike most teams that rely on 1-3 top players + role players, the Spurs relied on nearly equal contributions from 5+ players.

    Reminds me of when Paul Pierce called himself the best player in the world after winning the title in 2008. People actually agreed with him just because he had just been named finals MVP. Anybody that knew anything about basketball knew it wasn’t true.

  • Layton Harman

    Is Kawhi Leonard set to become the NBA’s next big star?

  • Guest

    at the moment i think george is better than kawhi. that being said, kawhi seems like a better TEAM

  • Harry Kays

    Durant shot 27% from three mostly against Kawhi in their series
    Westbrook was 8-23 shooting their last game mostly because of Kawhi
    In his last two games Durant shot UNDER 40%
    Defense is not part of a system. Kawhi is a MVP/All Star defender Durant is just purely jealous which is sickening

  • Harry Kays

    If you take Westbrook,Durant and Lebron the three best scorers in the NBA and make them score with Kawhi IN FRONT of them even with screens he will defend them better than ANY OTHER player. Alot of their points come in loose ball / fastbreak situations instead facing up to a defender.

  • erg

    So Paul George may be better than Kawhi because he was GIVEN awards over him? Cause the Disney machine thought he was more marketable? A player that overdribbles and settles for fadeaways versus Sugar K? Get with the program people. The Iso dribbler is sinking. Kawhi is the new prototype of an unselfish guy that can do it all with no drama.

  • SHORTY22

    KD went on to say that Leonard is just flourishing in Pop’s system but Pop’s system is the reason why Leonard wasn’t an all star this year (also why Duncan wasnt an all star this year, which is absolutely ridiculous but w/e), Leonard isnt even the 2nd or 3rd scoring option for the spurs whereas for PG, he’s the first scoring option for Pacers. but at this point, PG has more experience and is the better all around player and Leonard just got really hot and had 3 of his best all around games in the Finals while defending Lebron.

  • nikolas88

    Why did Durant have to say it? It’s hating plain and simple. If Lebron came out and said that he’d be a villain, but because Durant is a loser he’s not? foh. And I don’t think george would be a better player in the Spurs system. Look at all the dumb shots he takes? You think that’s what the spurs do?Look at the eff of all their players? This isn’t a iso ball team and yes, Kawhi could do work in Indy.

  • UncheckedAggression

    It’s not necessarily hate. Say Paul George is his friend and Durant felt inclined to defend him? It’s not like KD went on some rant about Leonard not being a good player. I don’t see why this is a big deal.

    It’s this view that creates a dichotomy between “winners” and “losers” that’s so misguided. It sucks Durant is going to have to deal with certain fans that think everything he says is colored by jealousy. His opinion here is pretty valid, I’d say, and not at all driven by jealousy.

    You can criticize the shots George takes all you want, but the Pacers offense was pretty awful. I wouldn’t put it all on George. Also, remember Captain Jack, who played on the Spurs? He was a horrible ball hog while on other teams. On the Spurs he played right because Pop would bench his ass otherwise. Don’t be so quick to judge a young player like George that’s shown so much promise. I’ve got problems with his game, too. But I wouldn’t say he couldn’t fit in Indiana. Dude is just as good of a defender as Kawhi, maybe better…

  • nikolas88

    Did Kawhi attack Paul George? And maybe Durant should focus on himself rather than the finals MVP that plays the same position he does. Ring envy wirtten all over Durant. And aren’t you and Durant quick to judge th eyoung player Kawhi? Ring envy.

    And nobody made Durant go out and comment on the finals MVP. He picked it up on himself..don’t get sensitive because people finally see he’s a hater.