As much as I write about Kevin Durant, you’d assume I’ve set up camp outside of his home, started surveillance, and keep a notebook that is starting to fill to the edges with notes. It’s not quite that serious, but believe me when I say that I’ve been following his NBA career from the moment he first stepped foot in Oklahoma City. Why wouldn’t I? He was coming to town as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year for the previous season, so we all knew he was destined for greatness the second he set up his residence on red colored soil.
After winning the NBA MVP last season, the only thing currently missing from Durant’s resume is an NBA Championship. Two months ago, even as obviously polished as his fundamentals are, I began to wonder if his lack of a mean streak, and his love of perimeter shooting were the contributing factors to his missing NBA Championship ring.
Well, not only has Nike began to work on reminding you of the cold-blooded assassin he is on the court with “THE BADD35T” campaign they’ve launched with Foot Locker, a tweet by SLAM Magazine from 2K’s NBA 2K15 Uncensored event reveals that even if Durant lacks a mean streak, he certainly doesn’t lack confidence in his ability to light up a scoreboard:
“KD: ‘Honestly, I think I score better than anybody.’ #2KUncensored”
Well, when you’ve lead the NBA in scoring 4 of the past 5 seasons, and broken a modern-day scoring record once held by the immortal Michael Jordan, I think you’ve effectively proven that statement. Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale even pointed that out himself:
“Over the last five years, Durant has won four scoring titles. During that time, he’s averaged an otherworldly 29.3 points per game—more than anyone else in the NBA—on nearly 49 percent shooting. LeBron James is a not-so-close second, having averaged 27.3 points a night during that same span.”
Favale was also very quick to point out how even his confidence shines with humility:
“Even Kevin Durant‘s self-serving compliments are noble. … He thinks? Honestly, thinking Durant is the best scorer alive feels wrong—because he is, without a doubt, the best scorer alive.”
Now, the great MJ himself might take issue with that statement, as the no-hand-check rule has become a topic of great debate when comparing the scorers of yesteryear to the scorers of today. I’m sure you’ve heard this exact same argument repeated ad nauseam:
“If Michael Jordan played in his prime under today’s no-hand-check rules that are friendly to scorers, he’d average a minimum of 40 points.”
Dime Magazine’s Austin Burton devoted an entire article to the topic, and managed to make a few good points in the process:
“With today’s laid-back rules, the “Bad Boy” Pistons wouldn’t have been allowed to beat the crap out of MJ during his formative NBA years, when he was making that leap from flashy superstar to cold-blooded killer. Without those early experiences, would Jordan have developed the same drive and motivational fire that made him JORDAN? Or would he have been closer to another Iceman Gervin, a jaw-dropping scorer who is known more for getting buckets and not as much for being a winner?”
I honestly wish they still played the highly-physical style of the 70s & 80s, as opposed to the somewhat-physical style of the 90s. Sure you get to see amazing scoring in the league these days, but the outlawing of hand-checking has left many of today’s NBA superstars without much of a defensive game at all. Durant is actually a perfect example of that fact.
In other news from the NBA 2K15 Uncensored event, Durant revealed that his current NBA 2K record stands at 100-4. And if you’re curious as to who gives Durant the most trouble on the virtual hardwood, he named Russell Westbrook and James Harden as his toughest competition.