But it turns out KD has something the King craves: complete offensive freedom.
"I do get jealous, I'm not gonna lie," James said, via ESPN Insider Tom Haberstroh (subscription required). "I get jealous sometimes when I look over at KD and he's like 16-for-32 and then 14-for-34. ... Man."
UPDATED on Friday, Jan. 16 at 2:10 p.m. ET
KD has a comeback for Jame' jealousy. If the King wants those looks, all he has to do is take them.
It's one of the perks that goes along with being the best player on the planet:
Kevin Durant on LeBron's "jealous" comments: "I'm pretty sure--I'm 100 percent sure--that LeBron can do whatever he wants."— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) January 16, 2014
James could probably take a hundred shots before coach Erik Spoelstra tried to reel him in. Assuming, of course, he didn't turn those 100 looks into 200 points.
Anything is possible when it comes to the King.
--End of update--
James isn't exactly hurting for shots (16.1 per game), but he's not in the same neighborhood as his old training partner (19.4), either. With the four-time MVP connecting on nearly 60 percent of his field-goal attempts, 59.1 to be exact, it's only natural for him to wonder what those extra looks would do for his stat sheet.
Fantasizing about an expanded role is nothing new.
"If you give me 37 shots in a game, I'd have 60...70," James said earlier this season, via Haberstroh. "I had [almost] 40 now with 18 shots, I mean ... If you give me 37 shots in a game, I’d put up 60. Easy."
He needed just 18 field-goal attempts to drop a season-high 39 on the Dallas Mavericks on Nov. 15.
Of course, there is no guarantee that James could save his efficiency through a dramatic increase in volume. It's borderline impossible to bet against him at this point, but this isn't just a straight mathematical equation.
Besides, James' selflessness is what separates himself from his NBA peers. It's what keeps the Miami Heat sitting on top of the basketball world. It's not something that lends itself to unabashed chucking.
"First of all, you have to have an unbelievable mindset to get up 30 shots," he said. "I always think about it, though. If I get up high-20s, 30 shots a game, what could I do today, with the way I'm playing?"
What could he do? Something that measures on a historical scale. If he took his self-imposed cap off his shot total, who knows just how high his point totals would climb.
But we'll never cross that bridge. This concept will never make it out of the hypothetical realm.
James is smart enough to know the difference between gaudy stat sheets and gaudy team success. The pair don't always work in tandem.
The Heat are 6-3 on the year when James scores more than 30 points. They are 11-3 when he tallies less than 25.
This just sounds like James dreaming of another basketball life, the kind of thing that happens after three straight runs to the NBA Finals. I wouldn't say he's tired of winning, but this entire team has been trapped in a slumber of late:
Twice today, Spoelstra said Heat were "humbled" by losses to Knicks/Nets. LeBron said team needed to hit reset physically, mentally— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) January 13, 2014
If James wants to trade NBA championships for scoring titles, KD would be happy to oblige.
Even the King knows, it isn't easy to win both.