It was a long time coming for Kevin Durant, and LeBron James was right there to congratulate the new NBA Finals winner after Game 5.
Kevin Durant finally got his NBA Finals win, and despite what people said about him joining an already elite team, he carried his Golden State Warriors in a dominant series over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Durant dropped at least 30 points in each of the series’ five games, and was pivotal in the team’s 129-120 Game 5, series-clinching win.
The win for Durant was obviously an emotional one, and a big storyline coming in was about whether or not he could overcome LeBron after he failed to do so with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012. After Durant finally got his title, his longtime rival was the first one to congratulate him over the win.
“He’s the only person that I was looking at since 2012,” Durant said in a postgame interview with Doris Burke about LeBron. “He averaged a damn triple-double, and I knew it was going to be a battle.”
In Game 5, Durant dropped 39 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, and continued his scoring dominance that he’s had throughout the postseason. Meanwhile, LeBron led his team with 41 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, and came up just short in the series for the second time in three years.
The two jawed with each other verbally in Game 4, and went back and forth with highlight plays over each other, like Durant’s Game 3 dagger over LeBron, and LeBron’s Game 5 poster dunk over KD. In the end, respect obviously won out, and the two came together before LeBron headed to the locker room.
There’s obviously a huge chance that this year won’t be the last time these two stars match up in the NBA Finals, and LeBron could see a chance for redemption in the next few years. For now, Durant can have his moment, and the embrace with LeBron will surely remain a nice touch on a sweet victory.