As of the time of this publishing, Kevin Durant is trying to lead his Oklahoma City Thunder team to the next round of the NBA Playoffs as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies in the decisive Game 7. While a loss would be bad news for Durant, obviously, there is a bit of good news as the Thunder star will collect his first NBA MVP trophy for this season.
ESPN.com reports that the league’s scoring champ will officially be recognized as 2014 NBA MVP early next week.
The discussion has been back and forth all season long as to whether Durant should walk away with the award or Miami Heat star LeBron James; but even James himself has stated that Durant is the deserving winner and should be bestowed with the tremendous honor–which it looks as if he will.
In leading the Thunder to the playoffs once again this season, Durant led the league in scoring at 32 points per game and will become the first player since Allen Iverson in 2000-01 to both lead the league in scoring and take home the MVP trophy.
Durant, 25, finished second to Heat forward LeBron James in the 2012 and 2013 MVP votes. The five-time All-Star emerged as the MVP favorite this season by averaging a career-high 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 50.3 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from deep. Durant led the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares, minutes played, points, field goals, field goal attempts, free throws, free throw attempts and usage rate.
Additionally, Durant led the Thunder to a 59-23 record, good for the second-best in the Western Conference, even though All-Star guard Russell Westbrook was in and out of the lineup all season due to knee injuries. Durant likely solidified his MVP chances when he scored at least 25 points in 41 consecutive games, eclipsing Bulls legend Michael Jordan for the longest such streak during the three-point era. Along the way, Durant tallied a career-high 54 points against the Warriors and 51 points, including a game-winner, against the Raptors. All told, Durant scored at least 40 points in 14 different games this season.