Pippen, Richard Jefferson Pick Kevin Durant over LeBron, Harden to Win 1 Game

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) talks to Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. The Lakers won 127-101. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Tony Avelar/Associated Press

LeBron James has been considered the best in the league for a long time, but two former NBA champions wouldn't bet everything on him. 

On ESPN's The Jump Monday, Scottie Pippen and Richard Jefferson were asked which player they would take to start their team if they had one game to win or someone would "take [their] house away." After some thought, both said Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant.

They parted ways after that, however, with Pippen saying James Harden would be his No. 2 choice while Jefferson picked James.

"Harden is the No. 2 player in the game right now," Pippen said, per the show's Twitter account.

The reigning MVP was arguably even better this season, averaging 36.1 points per game during the regular season to lead the NBA. However, his inconsistency during the playoffs should raise questions about whether you want him to win one game.

Meanwhile, James became somewhat of a forgotten man this season after missing the playoffs for the first time since his second year in the league. He only appeared in 55 games during his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers, although he still produced at a high level with averages of 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game.

He was the only player in the NBA to average at least 25-8-8 this year, per Basketball Reference.

The veteran has also finished in the top five of MVP voting in every season since 2005-06.

However, Durant has showed he can get it done in big moments, winning the NBA Finals MVP in each of the past two seasons. He was on an absolute tear to start the 2019 postseason with a league-leading 34.2 points per game before suffering a calf injury.

His ability to take over on both ends of the court apparently makes him the No. 1 option to carry your team for one game if needed.

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