‘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)

I’m Stronger Than Kevin Durant

It’s not often that I can make such a claim. Truthfully, most NFL kickers would out-lift me. I’m pretty skinny and scrappy, and back in high school baseball, the bat swung me. But I’ll be damned if I can’t get into a weight-lifting competition with none other than Texas’ finest, future NBA lottery pick, Kevin Durant. As Michael David Smith at FanHouse pointed out, Durant can’t bench 185 pounds!! From Jason Quick at the Oregonian,

Players were rated on how many times they could bench press 185 pounds. Oden didn’t attempt the bench press in order to prevent an injury to his right wrist, which has recently recovered from injury.

But get this: Only one player was unable to bench press 185 even once – Kevin Durant.

Quick also says that Oden is quicker, faster, and can jump higher than Durant. However, keep in mind that if all things were judged on combine numbers, then Darko would be first team All-NBA (as anyone who read the ESPN the Magazine draft issue on Darko would attest). Look, Durant probably needs to beef up in order to avoid being bullied on the court. But there’s no way this news would keep me from drafting him (although it does make me happy!)

Kevin Durant Regrets Not Playing Harder Against USC

Woa! Slow down their Randy Moss. Listen to what Texas superstar Kevin Durant said after Texas’ loss to USC in the 2nd round of the tournament on Sunday. Mind you, the stud scored 30 points. Click here for the sound.

Yes, Kevin Durant said:

Like Coach [Barnes] said, it left a sour taste in my mouth for me ending the season like this.  I kind of regret not playing as hard as I could today and throughout the whole season.  But like Coach [Barnes] said we did some good things this year but it’s always tough to lose like this.

While Durant was more explicit answering questions about his future, he left a lot of ambiguity with the aforementioned comment.

Was he really serious in saying he wasn’t trying his hardest against USC and during the season?  Was he really coasting?  Is he capable of dedicating himself to the game more?


Did he completely misspeak?  Did he mean he wishes he could have done more to help Texas win against USC and during the regular season?  Did he mean he regrets that the team couldn’t have gone farther in the tournament?

To think, against Texas Tech he could’ve gone 50 and 30.