Hours after Kevin Durant accepted his first MVP award in Tuesday's touching ceremony, the man he dethroned commented on it. LeBron James was the only other viable candidate, and the four-time winner didn't think the Miami Heat's regular-season performance was strong enough for a fifth, via Bleacher Report's Ethan Skolnick:
LeBron on MVP: "I think I played well enough to win it, but I don't think our team played well enough to win it."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 7, 2014
.... "We had too many up & down stretches throughout the season, and if my team's not winning, then I shouldn't be the MVP."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 7, 2014
The Heat had the second-best record in the weak Eastern Conference, going 54-28. That was a worse winning percentage than James' team had in any of his four MVP seasons. Durant's Thunder went 59-23, good for second in the brutal West.
Sitting down at the postgame podium after the Miami Heat's 107-86 thrashing of the Brooklyn Nets, James decided to pay tribute to his rival's fine work. While he had already stated that Durant deserved to win MVP, he wanted to acknowledge his rival's special season before taking any questions about the game.
"First of all, I want to start off this press conference by congratulating Kevin Durant on winning the MVP," James said. "Unbelievable season, and all the support from me from one MVP to the next MVP. So, hell of a season, KD."