Kevin Durant Goes Old School
Kevin Durant recently told reporters that he’s wondering where all of the NBA’s competitors are.
Overshadowed recently by all of the hoopla surrounding LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Durant quietly signed an $80 million contract that keeps him in Oklahoma City for the foreseeable future. Durant did not produce a television show to make his announcement, nor did he handpick his interviewer before spilling his guts in front of a live television audience. Instead, Durant, the NBA’s best player under the age of 25, sent a short, little Tweet message and closed his contract negations for a long time to come.
The old school NBA players and fans loved that. That love that Durant didn’t make a grab for attention and fame. They love that he decided to stay with the team that helped make him a superstar. And they are delighted that Durant has and will always be a humble, hard-working basketball player that puts his development before his fame.
Most importantly, old school players and fans love what Durant had to say about the slate of NBA players flocking to Miami to ride the coattails of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Durant told reporters that he basically doesn’t understand where the competitive spirit of some of today’s NBA players has gone. He is questioning why some players are so willing to concede to the fact that the Miami Heat are now the best thing going in the NBA.
Old school folks love this!
Because this is exactly what these same folks have been saying about LeBron James “decision.” When LeBron decided to go to Miami, he was basically saying that he’d rather join his lone counterpart in the NBA than beat him. That disgusted some NBA greats, including Charles Barkley and Larry Bird. And people who have the same sentiments as those two are entirely ready to dismiss any notion that LeBron James could ever be compared to Michael Jordan.
But the door is open for Kevin Durant.
Far be it from us to suggest that Kevin Durant is on the level of a LeBron James, but at this point and time they do have the same number of rings. And it’s not impossible that Durant becomes a better player, many people have suggested just that, including my man Kenny Smith.
Granted, LeBron is well-positioned to collect a couple of finger-pieces over the next several years—but he better do it! While we contend that the Miami Heat are the favorites to win the NBA Championship in 2011, we aren’t saying it’s a done deal. And if Kobe Bryant and the Lakers or Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic can keep the Heat away from the podium over the next two seasons, that just might give Durant’s upstart Oklahoma City Thunder team a chance to come of age and contend with the Miami Heat.
By no means are we suggesting that the Thunder could become the equivalent of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. But if Kevin Durant continues to be the scorer that he has been, and if the players around him continue to become better and better as they have thus far, then why can’t the Thunder be that next big power in the Western Conference and the one team that prevents LeBron James from collecting a mantle’s worth of trophies?
Based on reports, if you were to ask Durant if he thinks he and his team is primed to knock off the Heat, at the very least he would tell you that they are going to give it a try. That’s the old school mentality that a lot of people like about Kevin Durant. And if he keeps that up, he’s going to have a couple of old school rings of his own, perhaps at the expense of a new school evil empire.