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If Kevin Durant has the season of his life and LeBron James slips in 2012-13, the 24-year-old could emerge as the best player in the entire NBA.
In order for Durant to claim such a prestigious—and subjective—title, he’d have to prove that he can make his teammates better. The 6’9” forward turned the ball over at an astronomical rate last season, and that's something he must improve upon.
James would likely have to slip in a number of categories, but if Durant can step up his game, he could challenge for not just an MVP award, but for the title of "best in the league."
Durant has yet to truly reach the prime of his playing days, but having been so close to a championship so early in his career, taking a step back would be demoralizing.
Coming into the league, Durant’s game was considered fairly one-dimensional. While he still has things to work on, he’s proved he can elevate his game year in and year out, and becoming a better leader has been part of that maturation.
Durant is itching to get back to the Finals, and if he falls short to the Los Angeles Lakers—or any of the other tough teams out West—he’ll look at it as a step back regardless of how well he performs on an individual level.