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Amazing Happens in Kevin Durant’s Pants

I don’t know who’s responsible for this picture nor where it happened, but I do know that it is damn funny. By the way, am I the only one thinking that shirt doesn’t really match Durant’s personality, not unlike the Greg Oden freak dancing photo? I never thought I would say this, but that picture is actually better than Durant’s jersey-changing commercial.

Sources:
Jose3030 on Twitter

Phil Jackson Priming Officials, Durant Before Start of Playoffs

Phil Jackson is obviously trying to manipulate NBA officials before the playoffs begin.  He’s also trying to get into the head of Oklahoma City Thunder star forward Kevin Durant.  Jackson’s Lakers are one day away from setting out to defend their NBA title, and Phil has been fined twice in the past two weeks for criticizing the officials.  The most recent, which cost Jackson $35,000, is in my opinion completely unwarranted.  Here’s what Jackson had to say about Durant, the franchise player of the Lakers’ first round opponent:

As far as the calls that he gets on the floor, I think a lot of the referees are treating him like a superstar; he gets to the line easy and often.”

There’s a lot of things wrong with this coming from the mouth of the ten-time champion head coach.  First and foremost, Jackson said refs are treating Durant “like a superstar.” Jackson is implying that Durant isn’t a superstar and doesn’t deserve superstar calls from the refs. Hang on Phil, on what planet is Kevin Durant not a superstar?  He just became the youngest player ever to win an NBA scoring title by averaging over 30 points per game at the ripe age of 22.  Yes, that’s right, he accomplished a feat that LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan could not.  Durant also turned around a troubled franchise in the span of three years, leading Oklahoma City to its first playoff birth since moving from Seattle.  I don’t really understand what Jackson meant when he said the officials “treat” him like a superstar.  Durant could eventually develop into the best player in the league, and yes I’m aware that LeBron James and Kobe Bryant haven’t retired.

Secondly, isn’t this a bad case of the pot calling the kettle black?  Jackson may have more championships rings than any coach in NBA history, but he certainly would have had trouble reaching those heights without his players receiving their own superstar treatment.  That’s not to take anything away from the skill-sets of Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan, but Jackson has been on the receiving end of superstar treatment each season he’s won a title.  Superstars are going to get to the line more than average players — that’s the nature of the beast in the NBA.  Most of the calls they get are well-deserved, but there are plenty that aren’t.

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‘Shoeless’ Kevin Durant > ‘Durantula’

There was quite a bizarre play that took place on Friday night in Oklahoma City. Thunder forward Kevin Durant lost a shoe on a defensive possession and was slow getting up the court. Luckily the Nuggets got a steal so Durant was in perfect defensive position to stop the fast break. That’s when the following play unfolded, leading to a new and improved nickname for KD — Shoeless Kevin Durant:

Durant previously had been without a nickname until Slam ran a contest that was ended with J.E. Skeets’ selection of “Durantula.” I get the whole long limbs thing, but I just don’t like the sound of durantula, though I have to give Skeets props for the movie poster adaptation. Maybe shoeless wouldn’t be great because Joe Jackson already has rights to the name, but I’m already sick of hearing KD called “Durantula” every night on ESPN highlights, especially for a guy very early on in his NBA reign of dominance. What about good old fashioned “Stretch?”

video via The Sporting Blog and The Big Lead

Kevin Durant Jersey Commercial Is Simply Fantastic

I’m not exactly sure what it is. Maybe it’s for the same reason people like seeing footage of their favorite athletes playing ball in the backyard when they were kids. Maybe it’s the way it tells the journey through the basketball life as a player. Maybe because it reminds you that before the players were superstars in the NBA, they were also on a middle school team just like me and you. Just watch:

I can’t describe it, but I love seeing that commercial. Every single time it’s on it captivates me. Maybe it’s just because it’s simply brilliant.

Will Kevin Durant’s Nike Deal Keep him from Going Starbury?

If you remember about a month ago, I got really excited when I heard Kevin Durant wanted to go cheap with his shoes like Starbury. In fact, at the time, reports suggested that negotiations were being held up by Durant’s desire to go cheap. Well, Tom Ziller informs me of the news that Durant has signed with Nike. We know it came down to Adidas or Nike, and apparently Durant has chosen Nike.

The deal is reportedly worth $40 million. That’s a lot of money. Now, my question is whether or not this will prevent Durant from marketing his shoe at a cheaper price. I’m guessing it will unfortunately. In the Adidas family, it’s T-Mac, Billups, Arenas, and KG whose shoes vary from $90-$130. In the Nike online store, we’re talking triple-figures for most sneakers. That blows. I was really getting pumped about Durant going Starbury-style — that’s how to give back to the community.

I Would Take Kevin Durant

Not that I’m a basketball GM or anything, so it doesn’t really matter but for purposes of debate. And I have already proclaimed that Portland would take Oden, so it doesn’t really make a difference either. But I had an epiphany last night. A little basketball fairy shined down upon me and said the answer was Kevin Durant. This is something I know.

Sure, it’s easier to take Greg Oden. He seems like the safer pick. Take the big, build around him. He can step into the league and dominate, become a 20/10 guy, no problem. Once you have your center, you’re set for the next 10-15 years. Just get a good point guard, a few guys who can shoot, and boom, the game opens up for you. It’s easier to build around Oden. But I’ll be darned if I don’t think Kevin Durant is the special player in this draft.

Durant can do things that no other player can. Sure, he lost in the tourney early — his team went down in the second round. Kevin Durant though, was a beast. The team around him wasn’t very good, yet he took them to new levels. He won games with his rebounding, his shooting, his driving. He scored and made plays in almost every way you could imagine. Durant played defense like he was Shawn Marion, and scored and rebounded like he was Kevin Garnett. He may be smaller and skinnier than Greg Oden, but that didn’t stop him from pulling down double-digit boards on the regular.

It might seem weird because the easy starting point is a big man — a true center — a Greg Oden. But if you ask me, Kevin Durant is the pick. He’s a special, special talent. He can do things that nobody else in the draft can do (perhaps 30/10 a game). And by golly, I’d want him on my team more than anyone else.

Kevin Durant Wants to go Cheap with His Shoes Like Starbury

Thanks to Ballhype for putting me onto Nate Jones’ story at FanHouse about Texas star Kevin Durant wanting a shoe deal that will market his sneakers for cheap. The news is truly pleasing. Taking it from Jones:

Today on his Oregon Live blog, John Canzano reported that one of the sticking points for Durant in his negotiations with Nike and Adidas is a commitment to make a shoe that is at a price point that most individuals could afford. That price point is rumored to be between $39 and $69.

Whether or not big companies like Nike or Adidas would actually go for something like this is debatable — it would go against most of their business policies. Just perusing the Adidas website for instance, shows that high top basketball shoes range from $80-$200, with most pairs in the hundred dollar range. Going through Nike’s shop online, it was a stretch to find a basketball sneaker in the double-digits price range. The other element at play is whether or not Kevin Durant will remain steadfast in his desire to have a company sell his shoe for cheap. Would his desire to sign with a big company override his wish of selling an affordable shoe? I think it’s possible.

We’ll wait to see what happens with Durant, but I’m happy to hear he’s even considering the idea. The reasonably-priced sneaker is an excellent concept by Marbury, and I’ll always applaud this off-court effort regardless of what his on-court reputation may be.

(image courtesy You Been Blinded)