7. NORTH AMERICAN informal
Kevin Durant is bad. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning otherworldly. Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning “crossover from the top of the key, take two steps and lay the ball up like a newborn baby over two giants.” I’m 5-10 (5-11 in KDs if you’re into giving gifts), and there are times when I watch KDTrey and wish I had an extra foot of height hidden in my DNA. When you see some of the things that KD does on that court, you have to just stand back, wipe your eyes, close ’em, slap yourself, and then open your eyes again. I mean, listen, do you know how bad you have to be to have the legendary Dick Gregory say you’re the baddest!?
Kevin Durant is bad. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning show up to your gym and painlessly give you 50, not say a word, and leave. No-look passes? Check. Pull-up jumper from 35 feet? Check. Two-hand reverse slam? No problem. The guy’s got it all, and the scary part is he’s only 25, which means we’ve got at least another decade of logic-defying basketball to watch. When you think about it, it’s really a blessing to see a guy of his ilk play for 82-100 games a year. He’s the youngest scoring champ ever. Not Kobe. Not Mike. Not ‘Bron. It’s KD.
This past season, he had a career-high 54 points against Golden State. I think people take numbers like that for granted, especially for a 6-11 guy who’s not playing with his back to the basket. Kevin Durant is bad. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning the second coming of “The Iceman” George Gervin. Heck, he doesn’t even get those comparisons anymore; he’s just the first coming of Kevin Durant. He’s changing the way we look at stretch big men. What are you going to do? Put your power forward out there, 30 feet away from the basket? Nope. Oh, here’s an idea: sick your quick small forward on him. Won’t work either. We need a new position just for KD, something like “Durantula Control Specialist.”
Kevin Durant is also good. We all saw the MVP acceptance speech. Taking his time to point out each teammate’s merits. Making the coldest hearts melt when he shouted out his mom, and frankly, further dismissing the stereotype that the league is full of prima donnas. He’s got tattoos, but he keeps them hidden on his torso so that it doesn’t give kids the wrong idea. Remember when he first came into the league and would invite the neighbors over for XBox and snacks? I don’t even know my neighbor’s first name, let alone their preference in gaming console.
Durant also makes sure that his signature shoes — the KD7 “35K Degrees” colorway drops this weekend — are not out-pricing his demographic, making them as affordable as possible without sacrificing the quality and tech that the folks over at Nike are known for. Bet you didn’t know he wanted to help you save a few bucks, eh?
Kevin Durant is bad, not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good. He’s not only a good example for young players, as seen by his Nike Elite Youth Basketball Camp; he’s a good example for young people. The future for him is so bright that at 25, he’s already established a legacy that is one of a future Hall of Famer. College Player of the Year, NBA MVP, scoring champion four times in seven years, and All-NBA for the last five consecutive years, KD is the man. So with that said, that’s one bad man.
Follow Tommie on Twitter at @boneystarks