Durant, James highlight what should be epic NBA Finals

LeBron vs. Durant, the NBA’s best 1-on-1 Finals matchup since Jordan vs. Magic in 1991.

With all apologies to Boston and San Antonio, this is what everyone wanted. The fans. The commissioner. The players themselves.

“It’s only right,” LeBron James said of the Heat and Thunder meeting in the NBA Finals. “It’s only right.”

James is the NBA MVP, a three-time league MVP actually. On the other side stands Kevin Durant, a three-time scoring champion. They might be the two best basketball players in the world.

“It’s not about Kevin and LeBron,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Individually, they’re the best players in the league. But it’s always about the Thunder against the Heat.”

Sorry, coach. Even if Durant and James don’t guard each other often, this series is still very much about Kevin and LeBron.

The two imagined this day in the offseason, when they competed against one another in a four-day series of workouts that they dubbed “Hell Week.” James and Durant walked away from that with a mutual respect. Now, they are set to meet again, on the biggest stage: the NBA Finals. Not even Martin Scorsese could have scripted this any better.

“I envisioned it every day we worked out,” James said. “I understood what his [Durant's] passion was. I understood what his drive was.”

James is the man everyone loves to hate. With his perceived cockiness and bravado, he’ll be picked apart each time he disappears in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Durant enters as the fresh face, a player very much in tune with his surroundings. And representing a small market like Oklahoma City only adds to his likeability.

“The city is just so laid-back and quiet, and that’s the type of person I am and it fits me well,” Durant told reporters. “It’s just a perfect place to be.”

James and the Heat are invading that sleepy town tonight (9 p.m., ABC), in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. As the eyes and ears of the hoops world turn to Oklahoma City, expect a lot of things.
Just don’t expect it to be quiet.

‘Humbled’ to be back in NBA Finals

LeBron James admitted yesterday that he let his teammates down last year. He averaged just 17.6 points against Dallas in the NBA Finals.

“I’m happy and I’m humbled that I can actually be back in this position less than 12 months later and to do a better job of making more plays on a bigger stage,” James told reporters.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

G train running again after five weeks of…

G train service between Brooklyn and Queens returned as planned on Tuesday after several stops were closed for five weeks. Stating on July 25, crews…

Local

Islamic state issues video of beheading of U.S.…

The Islamic State militant group released a video purporting to show the beheading of U.S. hostage Steven Sotloff, the SITE monitoring service reported on Tuesday.

Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

Gossip

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth apparently love each…

Miley Cyrus may have broken off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth almost a year ago, but that doesn't mean she doesn't still have feelings for…

The Word

The Word: Charlize Theron isn't perfect, so stop…

We've been thinking a lot about famous women's bodies this week, obviously, so here's some food for thought to go with all that virtual ogling.…

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and Giants climb

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…