We are all guilty of missing the beauty and brilliance of something rare. Even when we are there, in the moment, watching it unfold in front of us, the significance of those moments is elusive.

Kevin Durant expressed his relief that the regular season ended along with his historic scoring streak and questions about the MVP race. In fact, throughout most of this season the 25-year old, six-year pro expressed disconcert with the entire conversation. As the NBA Playoffs began and all of those questions ceased, there was a new question emerging in my mind: I wonder if we all realize what we witnessed this season?

After the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 102-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers during the last week of the regular season, I asked Durant if he was relieved that the debate and the speculation were all but over.

“A lot of people outside of the locker room talk about the accolades and the individual match up (with LeBron) but that’s just a part of the game. I just try to tune all that stuff out and try to worry about the betterment of the team,” Durant said in regards to MVP conversations.

Durant has been a stand-up guy since he set foot on a basketball court. From his time at Texas, through his rookie season in Seattle and during the time he has spent on the Thunder there has never been a question about the person Durant is, let alone the basketball player he has become. But within himself, as expressed in a 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, Durant has questions about why he is always second in nearly every category and achievement to date.

When Durant was at Texas, he averaged 26.8 PPG and 11.1 RPG—that’s a double-double average, folks. And his assists average that was just above one per-game has blossomed since his debut in the association in 2008. Durant has spent countless hours to become what he is right now.

The tall, gangly kid from Seat Pleasant, Maryland wasn’t even on the national radar heading into his freshmen year at Texas like the other freshmen that have since been glorified. That role was taken by Indianapolis’ Greg Oden. When the two finished their freshmen years, it was Durant who won the Naismith and the Wooden awards, Texas’ second ever recipient of both (T.J. Ford 2002-2003).

The NBA draft was no different, Oden went first Durant went second, and by the time KD emerged as a perennial All Star, LeBron was peaking and on his way to South Beach, stealing all of Durant’s thunder—no pun intended.

It's irrelevant if he doesn’t admit that discontent these days; just like it wouldn’t have mattered if he never mentioned it in an SI article. However, somewhere along his life, beyond his motivation to play for his childhood coach, Kevin Durant was inspired to perform far beyond the realm of reality for most aspiring basketball players.

A year after losing the MVP race to LeBron James and being bounced from the NBA playoffs before the Finals, Durant can check one off the list as he will likely be the NBA’s 2013-14 MVP. The award would accompany his fourth scoring title in a five-year span — in 2012 Durant had the most points but did not average the most per game. This season, Durant’s RPG and APG were just under LeBron’s rebound and assist averages from his 2012 and 2013 MVP seasons, while his PPG were four and five points higher.

Durant won this year’s scoring title by the game’s third-highest margin since 1970. Durant averaged 32 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 5.5 APG. He scored 25-or-more points in 41 games and during that time scored 30-or-more points in 12-straight games. During his 41-game streak, Durant actually averaged 38 PPG shooting 54.4% from the field. Here is Durant’s shooting chart during the 41-game span:


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Just as has been said about Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Michael Jordan, there may never be another player quite like Durant. Essentially a seven-footer, his scoring abilities are the best the game has ever seen. Let me reiterate that, Kevin Durant is the best, pure scorer the game of basketball has ever seen. The focus, mentality and determination to continue improving is evident and for 29 other NBA teams and the many players across the league, that’s the scariest thought ever. Because at 25-years old, Kevin Durant hasn’t even hit his actual prime, yet. He is merely getting started, people.

For Durant, there are multiple MVP’s on deck and the chance at as many NBA titles. While LeBron is the undisputed best player on the planet — with four more seasons on Durant, he may want to maintain his unbelievable level of play for far more seasons to come. James needs to keep chasing those NBA championships—you know, not one, not two, not three, etc. along with as many MVP’s as possible. Because if we wake up in 14 years on a summer day in June to a press conference of No.35 hanging it up for good, I won’t be shocked if we are watching one of, if not the best ever, retire from the game of basketball.

Hey, we can debate it about LeBron, why can’t we say it about KD?

Corey Elliot is a contributor for HornSports.com. He is a Senior Writer at the Indy Sports Report and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association, recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Pacers and has full media access. Follow Corey on Twitter - @CoreyElliot