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The inbounds pass for Oklahoma City went to the strong-side corner. The three-point shot went up … swish.
The shooter, to no surprise, was Kevin Durant.
It seemed like any other shot Durant has taken in his terrific eight-year career, pretty much automatic.
But in the history of basketball, this shot has some extra meaning. It ties Michael Jordan for consecutive games with over 25 points, standing at 40.
Other than Durant and Jordan, only two other players have done so with Robertson going 47 straight games and Wilt Chamberlain scoring over 25 points in a prolific 106 games.
Typically, I’m not a fan of comparing players because these players come from such different eras of basketball, but here, this simply shows the incredible scorer that is Durant.
Everyone knows where the ball is going. It’s no surprise. It’s on the scouting report of every coach in the NBA when the Thunder come to town. And yet, Durant continues to not just be dangerous, but unstoppable.
He shoots the three from unlimited range, elevating above most his competition as a lanky small forward.
He gets to the rim or can pull up on a drive. His inside-out game leaves him basically impossible to guard.
He doesn’t have the flash of say, a Michael Jordan or a LeBron James, with throw downs that are sky high and look as if they might break the rim, but he does his job night in and night out. He’s a true basketball player.
Throughout history, the best scorers in basketball have made their mark, particularly through comparison to others. the rivalries in basketball have been endless. There was Wilt Chamberlain versus Bill Russell. There was Larry Bird versus Magic Johnson.
There even seems to be rivalries of retired and current players, such as James and Kobe Bryant versus Jordan.
James versus Durant is the current rivalry and while early in his career, it was James that took the game, Durant is coming into his own.
He should take the MVP away from James this season.
He’s calm and makes the right decisions. He makes his teammates better. Without Westbrook, Durant is still leading his team to victory.
So move over Jordan, Bird, Chamberlain, Robertson and the rest of the greats. Durant may not be better, but he’s a scorer that belongs in your club.