Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Durant: Harden should replace Wade in’s ‘Top 10 Players of 2014′ list

Kevin Durant and Heat guard Dwyane Wade exchanged social media barbs on Tuesday after the Thunder star said he would take Rockets guard James Harden over Wade in a list of the top 10 NBA players.

Last week, The Point Forward unveiled our Top 100 Players of 2014, placing Durant at No. 2, Wade at No. 8 and Harden at No. 11.

Durant was asked for his reaction to’s list in a video interview.

“I think you’re missing on James Harden,” Durant said. Asked which player his former Thunder teammate should replace, Durant replied, without hesitation: “Dwyane Wade.”

Wade then posted a response to Durant’s statement on his Instagram account.

Dating the note 9/24/13, Wade wrote: “Kevin Durant said James Harden should replace me in the top 10… Note to self: Make him respect your place in history… again … “

The Heat — led by LeBron James and Wade — defeated Durant, Russell Westbrook and Harden in five games in the 2012 NBA Finals.

In a response to Wade’s response, Durant wrote on Twitter: “Show me, don’t tweet me.”

Wade was the top-ranked shooting guard on the list, followed by the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (No. 9) and Harden. The full top 10, in order: James, Durant, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Westbrook, Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, Wade, Bryant and Carmelo Anthony.

Wade, 31, averaged 21.2 points. 5.1 assists, five rebounds and 1.9 steals and shot 52.1 percent from the field last season. The nine-time All-Star and three-time champion posted a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 24 and 9.6 Win Shares (a metric that uses box score data to estimate the total number of wins a given player contributes) for the Heat, who won their second title in a row.

Bryant, 35, averaged 27.3 points, six assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals and shot 46.3 percent. The 15-time All-Star and five-time champion finished with a PER of 23 and 10.9 Win Shares, but he suffered an Achilles tendon injury in April and his status for the 2013-14 opener is in question.

Harden, 24, averaged 25.9 points, 5.8 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals and shot 43.8 percent in his first season with Houston after being traded from Oklahoma City. The four-year veteran had a PER of 23 and 12.8 Win Shares, and was selected to his first All-Star Game.

Durant and Wade co-starred in a Gatorade advertising campaign earlier this year. In the ad, Durant wakes up from a nightmare in which Wade blocks his shot before proceeding to train relentlessly. In the spot’s second sequence, Durant then dunks over Wade, prompting Wade to wake up from a nightmare of his own.

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