Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
"The Beatles needed the Rolling Stones. Even Diane Sawyer needed Katie Couric."
These are the words of Jean Girard, a character played by Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie Talladega Nights. And believe it or not, these words have relevance to fantasy basketball.
A star player without a rival? That's like a Baconator without bacon. It just doesn't work.
He'll never admit it but LeBron James needs Kevin Durant. And so do we.
Fantasy owners need both of them. But who do we need more?
Well that's easy, right? LeBron has two championships and Durant has none.
LeBron it is.
Oh, if only it were that simple. See, it's LeBron's defining trait, the ability to get his teammates involved, that may be his ultimate undoing in the fantasy game.
Though James has run circles around Durant in the assist category (6.9 apg in his career), he's now been outscored by the Oklahoma City forward four years straight. That trend should continue in 2013-14 with Russell Westbrook out indefinitely and Durant being asked to shoulder more of the load on offense (though he shouldered plenty already).
But let's not kid ourselves. LeBron is still a fantasy and real life Goliath. At 6-foot-8 with a point guard's handle, James defies position. He's also unstoppable on the boards (career-high 8.0 rpg) and an increasingly legitimate threat from long range (40.6 percent on three-point attempts last season).
It's close. Painfully close. But LeBron is still our choice for the top player in fantasy.
The rest of our 2013-14 NBA fantasy rankings can be found here.