Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after making a shot against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first quarter in game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Photo by Mark D. Smith, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
LOS ANGELES - As reports spread that Kevin Durant will this week be named the NBA's Most Valuable Player, Miami Heat superstar LeBron James said Monday the Oklahoma City Thunder star deserves it.
"If the reports are correct, kudos to him," James, a four-time MVP said. "Much respect to him, and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season."
James has won the award the past two seasons with Miami and in four of the past five -- winning it twice with former club Cleveland Cavaliers.
Chicago's Derrick Rose interrupted James's reign as MVP when he won the award in the 2010-11 season.
Durant averaged 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists this year, leading the Thunder to the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Durant is the first player to average at least 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists since Michael Jordan in 1988-89.
During the regular season, Durant put together a streak of 41 straight games scoring 25 points or more, surpassing Michael Jordan for the third-longest such streak in NBA history -- and the longest since the three-point shot was introduced in the league more than 30 years ago.
"You can't win them all," Miami's Chris Bosh said of James apparently ceding the MVP crown to Durant. "He is the best player in the world, but geesh you can't win it every year."
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse