Kevin Wayne Durant is playing the best basketball of his life.
Kevin Wayne Durant is the best basketball player on the planet right now.
KD may have referred to Damian Lillard’s 55 point performance against the Denver Nuggets as a spiritual experience, but what Kevin is doing is akin to The Undertaker rising from what was supposed to be his grave and reminding the world of what they may have forgotten.
Reminding the world that he is in fact the greatest scorer the game has ever seen.
Reminding the world that, he is already a top 25 player ever, no matter how much they try to deny it. Hell, 25 might even be underselling his greatness.
Yes, Lillard’s performance was a historical work of art in motion, but he didn’t do it after suffering a torn achilles, all while going toe to toe with the reigning defensive player of the year.
Should this really come off as such a surprise though? He’s reminded us of his unparalleled greatness time and time again. What should we have expected from a legitimate 7-footer in sneakers, who moonlights as a shooting guard in the NBA?
By now, the story of his recovery has been beaten into the ground, everyone who is anyone that keeps up with sports is aware of the details, and so we really don’t need to revisit the events of that moment.
Poking the Bear
Instead, I’d like to take you guys back even further, to the evening of April 17, 2019. The Golden State Warriors lost the previous game to the Los Angeles Clippers, evening the series at 1 win apiece. Kevin could be seen partaking in the usual media rounds during practice when he uttered one of the most legendary quotes that we’ve heard in quite some time.
“I’m not going to get in the way of the game because I want to have a back-and-forth with Patrick Beverley.”
“I’m Kevin Durant.”
“You know who I am.”
“Y’all know who I am.”
I still get chills when I read that.
The only thing that could’ve added to that moment is if Kevin were to catch a bullet pass from the opposite direction of where he was looking, one-handed, kept his eyes fixated on the reporter, and proceeded to calmly swish a basket without ever breaking eye contact.
But I guess one can only dream.
However, what did transpire, that did feed the legend of that moment, (albeit took a couple of days for it to manifest), was the famous post-game press conference featuring Lou Williams and Patrick Beverly.
April 26th, 2019, the Los Angeles Clippers were officially eliminated from the postseason. The culprit? A hyper-efficient 50 burger from none other than Kevin Wayne Durant himself. The shooting splits? 57.7/42.9/93.3.
Lou Williams: “I promise we tried”
Patrick Beverly: “I mean, he’s Kevin Durant”
Lou: “We tried everything.” “Sometimes you come across special people.”
Pat: “If you were a coach what would you tell us to do?”
I’m aware that it doesn’t need to be explained, but Patrick Beverly was legitimately asking the reporter if she had any ideas that they hadn’t considered. Maybe she was aware of something that could have changed the outcome of the series? That’s how incredible the performance was.
With the absence of James Harden, we are currently witnessing the answer to everyone’s question before the hall of fame shooting guard was acquired; can KD recapture his old form? If so, can he and Kyrie Irving morph what was once a fun, rebuilding squad, into a bonafide title threat in the playoffs?
I honestly don’t think that a letter grade will suffice as a measurement to describe what our collective eyes are experiencing. The only thing that truly comes close to getting that message across is, “I mean, he’s Kevin Durant.”
The Milwaukee Bucks made the Miami Heat, who are the defending Eastern Conference champions, look incompetent in the first round. Giannis was quoted after completing the sweep with “There’s a saying, don’t play with your food.” “We didn’t want to play with our food.”
Fast forward to 6/7/21, and the Milwaukee Bucks experienced a 39 point undressing at the hands of the Durant-lead Brooklyn Nets. The Milwaukee Bucks somehow suffered a defeat worse than the one they handed the Heat a couple of weeks ago. They are somehow one-upping the Heat on the embarrassment scale. They are the team that now looks incompetent, and they have become the proverbial food.
Meanwhile, Kevin looks as cool as a cucumber.
KD is back. Like, all the way back. And to be quite frank, he looks better than he’s ever looked, Kyrie and company be damned. If he can stay healthy, then the subject shifts from “can he sustain this,” to “what can he possibly do next?” Because it’s pretty obvious at this point; with health intact, he will look just as good in the NBA Finals as he’s looking right now.
He’s playing defense with a swagger and toughness that’s inspiring. He’s setting up his teammates through great playmaking. He’s doing literally whatever he wants on offense, at hyper-efficient levels. What more is there to say?
“Y’all know who I am.”
“I mean, he’s Kevin Durant.”
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