Yesterday, as the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder game was on, I had made a comment that too often has gotten me criticism from my peers. I’ve gone through this “argument” with many sports writers, basketbloggers, and people in general. Every time I make this comment, I seem to catch a lot of uncalled for flack so I’m going to clear things up here.
I want Kevin Durant to be the greatest player to ever play in the NBA.
Take a second, breathe, take that in. Read it once more for good measure.
I Want Kevin Durant To Be The Greatest Player to Ever Play In The NBA
Let me explain myself here before you go on a rant. Durant isn’t even the best player in the NBA right now. That title would obviously go to LeBron James in terms of here and now. If we go down the long, tedious road of resumes, you’d obviously have to take Kobe Bryant as the best active player right now. And most people will go with Mr. Six Rings for the greatest ever. Michael Jordan is the greatest to ever touch the orange, and I will concede that.
By the end of his career, though, I want Kevin Durant to surpass Michael Jordan. I want him to be in the conversation with Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and other Hall of Famers when its all said and done. The reason why? There is an emotional attachment.
Kevin Durant is from Washington, D.C. He frequents here during the NBA’s offseason and can be seen connected with many of the souls in the area. Not only in D.C but in Maryland and Virginia also. He’s so personable in all the forms of the word. Kevin Durant is a shy, unassuming person but he will not hesitate in giving your son an autograph or having a general conversation with you.
You usually assume that a person with that much height–listed at 6’10 but believe me when I say that he’s taller than 7’0–and so much skill with a ball would be more flamboyant and boisterous than most. Not Durant. He’s as silent as silent gets, but don’t let that fool you. His confidence is through the roof.
Durant took a tour through the World during the NBA lockout. He didn’t hesitate to play as much as he could even with no NBA. That wasn’t stopping his unequivocal love for the game. Durant was hooping where he could when he could. He made stops in places such as China as the ambassador of Nike Basketball and even in the gym right down the street from me at The College of Southern Maryland.
Durant never hesitates when it comes to showing his love for the game, but he also makes it known where he is from. Again, let me reiterate. Kevin Durant is from the greater Washington, D.C area. He attended Montrose Christian High School in Maryland, but before that he was at Suitland High School. This is where my emotional attachment to Durant’s success really came into fruition.
My cousin had 3 different classes with Kevin Durant. I don’t get to see him often, but when I do that’s a frequent topic of conversation. I usually ask “Why didn’t you get to know this guy? He’s the pride of our area.” I usually get a ho-hum response. A ” he wasn’t cool enough” or “he didn’t do what I did.” I don’t mean to throw anyone under the bus here, but Durant came up on the better end of the spectrum to say the least.
My cousin had been one of my idols for most of my early adolescent years. Now that I’ve grown into a young adult and can see the mistakes that he made in his teenage years, its easy for me to say I don’t want to be like that. But for him to say things like that about Durant shock me to this day. To see someone break a mold, abstain from a stereotype, and be a success story coming from the same place as me is awesome. How he was shunned by his peers in school just because of his success is something that I hate.
A stereotype is defined by google as a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a person or thing. I function in a stereotypical manner at times and also am quick to place others in a stereotypical category at times depending on my first image of them. I think its human nature to do that and this is how we all function sometimes, but when you find that someone breaks that mold, there is usually a breakthrough with you as a person. You slowly learn not to judge a book by its cover, and as you get older things change.
Where I’m from, I see these stereotypes every single day. Positive ones, negative ones, some that I could never even mention to other people who don’t know me on a personal level. They absolutely tear me apart. Seeing Kevin Durant have his success at such a young age always makes me feel better about where I’m from and what I can do. I feel as if nothing can hold me back from becoming the best at what I do and everyone should feel that way.
Coming from certain circumstances–financial, mental, physical, or otherwise–serves as a barrier and will only make you stronger as you grow throughout life.
This post isn’t really about basketball, its about success. Its about breaking a mold, destroying an image, and proving someone wrong. Having that satisfaction serves you more in the long run more than almost anything in this world. If you have that, then you have won.
This is why I love Kevin Durant and what he does. I love the person that he has become. From a small, lanky kid out of the District to a Freshman Superstar at the University of Texas to a multimillionaire basketball player and possible MVP candidate for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He’s only getting better, and he knows that.
Even though he’s a basketball player and I’m not even an official NBA writer as of yet, I still follow his example. For him to become the greatest player to ever do it only makes me feel like I should be doing as much as I can to equal his efforts.
So please, Mr. Durant. Be the best to ever do it. Pick up the orange, get better every day, and make the DMV proud. You’ve done a great job so far, please don’t stop.
Win 10 rings. Go undefeated in the NBA Finals. Win 8 MVP awards. Be the best you can be. One day we’ll meet and I’ll share this with you if you haven’t already seen it. You’re a great role model.
Hopefully this has cleared up any fog in my premise. For those who still don’t understand, just know that I want Kevin Durant to be the greatest player to ever play in the NBA.