Kevin Durant Not First Again
There's a man named Lebron James that just won the championship. That was his 2nd one. LeBron is the no. 1 player in the world in many eyes, he proved it again on the biggest stage. While LeBron celebrates this great achievement, there's a man watching, ready to work harder than ever after a 2nd round playoff exit after losing superstar teammate Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant was forced to take a role where he wasn't only the star of his team, he was the only star.
Durant had lost Superstar teammate Russell Westbrook. It was all up to him to lead a team who now had a starting Point Guard that had merely been expected to let Westbrook take a breather in the playoffs, not play 40 minutes of the game. Maybe this was necessary for Durant's greatness, which again went unnoticed. He had to take the LeBron role that LeBron had for the Cavs.
He began to play a Point Forward-like role more often (like a certain man who now has a 2nd ring on his finger) and played as hard as his body would let him. It would be tough against a resilient Rockets team who had former teammate (and now superstar) James Harden, and several players ready to step up to the challenge. Durant couldn't rely on anyone, the Thunder's 3rd leading scorer, Kevin Martin, couldn't muster more than his season average which albeit was his role and he did as much as was expected. The person replacing Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson, a 2nd year player who averaged just 14 minutes throughout the year took over the PG position and overachieved based on what was expected of him, but he was no Russell Westbrook.
Kevin Durant, a player who is rarely talked about despite his otherworldly talents and the fact he too is a once-in-a-generation player. An unselfish scorer, forced to become selfish. The game had to come through him now. He wasn't afraid of the role, he accepted what he had to do, and would work harder than anyone to achieve it. He says all the right things, is liked by most, and has the attitude of a true great, and a true champion. He posts better statistics in most categories every year, he adds new things to his game every year, and his team gets better every year. Even after losing Jeff Green a couple of years ago because OKC isn't a large-market team and couldn't afford him, they still were a better team. Even after losing a future superstar in James Harden because they couldn't afford him, they still were a better team.
Kevin Durant couldn't do it himself losing 4-1 to Memphis after single-handedly carrying them through the Houston series. He couldn't do it and neither could LeBron when he played for the Cavaliers. Now I guess Durant can't match a 35.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 7.3 APG playoff performance Lebron posted at just 24 or so. That was a legendary playoff performance for LeBron, and basically did it alone, but they both had the same result- No Championship. Durant, with better teammates than 08-09 Lebron, posted (in games without Westbrook) 31.8 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1 BPG, and 1.4 SPG. That's in the Western Conference, which is no doubt tougher competition than the East.
Kevin Durant after losing the series against Memphis wherein the only win he posted 35, 15, and 6, praised his teammates, especially Reggie Jackson for taking over the load at PG. Durant continually blamed himself for the losses, even talking about how many shots he missed in the losing game of the series. He did mention his fight though, and fight he did indeed. When you're the only one to truly focus on defensively, you can fight as hard as you can but it probably won't be enough.
Durant said himself, "I was the second best player in high school. I was the second pick in the draft. I've been second in the MVP voting three times. I came in second in the Finals. I’m tired of being second. I’m not going to settle for that. I’m done with it." Well losing Westbrook leaves him outside of first place once again. Luckily Durant feeds off of it, he talked about getting ready and working hard in the off-season right away after the playoff exit. Most would have considered it a wasted year, but Durant considered it a year to grow and get better and that it wasn't wasted. He even tweeted what he planned to work on especially in the off-season; his core strength, ballhandling, and mid-range game.
I'm not trying to devalue what Lebron did, I'm trying to bring up the value of Kevin Durant. A player that I would no doubt say is worthy of being thought of as a possible great. A player who seems to get devalued himself because he's left in second place. I've heard many say that no one in the current game is even near LeBron's greatness, maybe you're not paying attention. Lebron is no doubt the most gifted talent we've ever seen, but Durant once said "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard". Now of course Lebron works hard, but Durant's hard work has pushed his talent to as limitless as anyone's. I say we not count him out of the race yet.
I won't compare Durant to anyone for his sake because Durant doesn't want to be compared to Jordan, Kobe, Lebron etc. He wants to be Kevin Durant. But don't be surprised when Kevin Durant comes back again even better in every statistical category next year, and hopefully this time he'll have Westbrook on his side in the playoffs. It's time for the greatness of Durant to be shown and he has a threepeat to stop.
Wrote this up when I was bored and had felt like Durant's greatness was missed because of Westbrook's injury. Feel free to tell me what you think.
KD= wannabe Lebron. If espn didn't hype up certain players we wouldn't consider them overrated. KD is a scorer not an all around player. He is trying so hard to be like lebron. He had a commerical for doing something different and it was about bike riding...thats what lebron is known for. What about when the fan hit the half court shot and he ran at him...just like Lebron. He is even starting to get that arrogance about him like lebron has. I aint even a lebron fan, actually can't stand him, but KD is nowhere near Lebron and he should've never been in the discussion of being the best player in the NBA.
You could've tried reading it first.
1. KD WAS a scorer, he's been working hard to become an all around player, and if you'd have read what I wrote, you'd see that he is. He's improved his passing tremendously, and scores at a high percentage.
2. He's not trying to be LeBron, LeBron didn't invent Bike riding for athletes. Also, why wouldn't you run at a fan who hit a half court shot? it's exciting. You think in the instant he did that he was thinking, "i'm gonna be like Lebron and run at this fan"? That doesn't even have a purpose, that doesn't make him a better baller than LBJ.
3. He isn't getting arrogant, he's getting hungry. He wants a championship badly, and he wants to do whatever he can to get one. He's angry that he lost out on another oppurtunity for a championship because Westbrook was out.
I am thinking that we should nickname Durant "the Glide". Sorry man, love ya, but LeBron is in the way. And, Paul George is a budding superstar. And, Kawhi Leonard is a B!TCH.
Good luck Durant.
Finally, here's hoping for Heat - Thunder 2.0: The legend continues.
Kawhi is a b!tch? Wtf? Paul George is only 1 year younger than KD, they aren't even close.
Don't mean to be that guy but.... Durant was born in 1988 and George was born in 1990
KD is still young man winning a ring is tough only 15 individuals get to wing a ring in the NBA every year and the heat have won the last 2. Trading James Harden was without a doubt a bad move but they still have depth and they'll be in contention next year.
Trading harden was not a bad move. You get 2 max players not 3. It was harden or westbrook. Leveraging an asset like Harden for more young assets is the correct move.
@mookie apparently doesn't actually watch KD play. He's way more than just a scorer and that's blatantly obvious if you know anything about basketball and watch his games. He has become a willing and capable passer and a good (not yet great) defender. He still has a long way to go, but I feel pretty comfortable saying that he's the second best player in the world behind LeBron.
how is kwahi leonard a b*tch?? there were times when he was outplaying LeBron.... dude is a monster man... and is probably the best rebounding SF in the nba
For Kawhi, I meant that in a good way. I don't think the Thunder would have beaten the Spurs this year even at full strength. Kawhi will be back and better than ever and he is a super pain in the butt on defense, a freak rebounder, and a great athlete with an expanding offensive game. A Thunder - Spurs showdown next year in the WCF would be great, and I think it would go 6 or 7 games.
I think Kawhi would give Durant fits on both sides of the court. The Thunder better hope that some other team takes them down in the playoffs. The West is tough enough without having to go through San Antonio.
I think we get a rematch between the Heat and Thunder next year. Durant will be better than he was in 2012, but Harden is no longer there, and Westbrook is coming off an injury. Durant might finish second again next year, even though I think he has a better chance to win the MVP award next year. LeBron has already won 4 MVP's in 5 years and no one has ever won 5 awards in six years, with Larry Bird the only guy to have won three straight. So, look for voters to give it to someone not named LeBron. I think Kevin Durant will win the MVP award with LeBron getting the DPOY award.
With LeBron at his peak, Bosh still in his prime, an improving Mario Chalmers, and a D Wade who is accepting his role as the second option, this Miami Heat team is built for a big run of four or five straight titles. The foundation is set and all they will need to do is keep getting shooters to put around the rest of the core, and hold on to some of their veteran leaders (Allen, Battier, Miller, Haslem). And now they have the ideal energy big guy off the bench with Birdman. They have to resign that guy.
I love Durant. He showed me a ton in the playoffs when Westbrook went down, and I expect KD to be even better next year (I wouldn't be shocked if he goes for 32, 8, and 5 as Westbrook recovers from his injury), but I don't see how they can beat this Miami Heat team in a seven game series.
Big question: When is Russell Westbrook supposed to be back? I have heard more about Rose's injury and Kobe's injury. But, Westbrook is obviously huge and a guy that gave the Heat fits in the 2012 Finals.
I don't know if the will undoubtedly make it to the finals next year. They barely got past Indiana who is gonna get better. While Miami's role players get older and Wade gets more time on them knees. Also the pressure of the big three being in a contract year, as they will all opt out.
Not to mention Derrick Rose will be 100% and you never know what might happen in FA for teams like ATL and BRK.
All KD can do is score? Do the posters that make these ridiculous claims even watch basketball? Durant averaged 8 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while also being incredibly efficient, shooting 50/40/90.
These brainless sacks of excrement are the same kind of people that said earlier in this series that Lebron wasn't doing enough. For some people, it will never be good enough, no matter what the player does.
Let's pump the brakes on Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. They had one nice playoff run, but it takes more than that to be mentioned in the same breath with all time greats.
all the Thunder need is a big man in the middle that can kill them on the boards and score in the half court in the low post. If they do that they have a good shot in taking the title next year especially since both Westbrook and Durant continue to get better year after year and Ibaka is as well
KD is certainly one of the very top players in the NBA today and we don't know if with a fit Westbrook the Thunder could have reached the finals and even beat Miami. KD has only been in the NBA 6 seasons, don't forget it took LeBron 9 seasons to win his first title, Shaq took 8 seasons even MJ took 7 seasons.
Tyhchs makes a very valid point about the Thunder needing a big man in the middle and it got me thinking, it would be ironic if Greg Oden ever came back to the NBA and ended up doing that role for the Thunder as he and KD were contending for the top draft spot in 2007.
Yeah he gets 8 rebounds a game but it's not about stats. Its how those rebounds come. Its not lime if you need q key rebound kd will get it. If 8 rebounds is all you're going by then amare is a good rebounder too. Lebron vets key rebounds and he's known to be one cuz he can box out and he's got the intangibles to board. Kd should be q lockdown defender at his height and with that wingspan. Also his assists aren't like lebrons. He is a scorer and yes very efficient and that's what he is. And yes kd isn't the one who invented bike riding but he's attention hungry, the quiet type, and he's a wanna be. And jumping on a fan right after lebron did it. Come on man you're defending that? When MD first came to he league he was such a quiet humble guy and was his own man. He switched agents which maybe a sig n for him to eventually go to a bigger market team in the future...time will tell. All I'm saying is he's not an all around guy. He's an efficient scorer and a great one at that.
Oh an Kawahi is great. What a breakout series.