Kevin Durant reportedly wins MVP, unseats LeBron James

Kevin DurantKevin Durant has long complained about finishing second, but it looks like he’s finally finishing first in something: MVP voting.

ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that Durant won the NBA MVP award and the announcement will be made sometime next week. LeBron James had won back-to-back MVPs (as well as consecutive NBA Finals MVPs), so Durant will be breaking James’ streak.

[Related: Kevin Durant: ‘I’ve been second my whole life, I’m done with it’]

Durant is in the middle of his seventh NBA season. He led the league in points per game (32), minutes played and PER (player efficiency rating), while leading his Thunder to a 59-23 record playing several games without Russell Westbrook.

After making the All-Star team five seasons in a row and being named to the first-team All-NBA four seasons in a row, this will be Durant’s most notable individual award since capturing the Rookie of the Year award.

The news conference announcing the award is expected to be on Monday or Tuesday.

The Oklahoman goes with ‘Kevin Up’ headline after Kevin Durant drops 36


Kevin Durant looked pretty reliable on Thursday night. The Oklahoma City Thunder star scored 36 points while facing elimination elimination game against the Memphis Grizzlies on the road. As a result, The Oklahoman decided to print a much more friendly headline in its Friday morning paper.

As you probably heard, The Oklahoman took a ton of heat on Thursday after they labeled Durant “Mr. Unreliable” in bold letters following the Thunder’s Game 5 loss. The sports editor of the paper later called the headline a failure and said it was misinterpreted.

If the insulting ink motivated Durant, Thunder fans should be grateful. He was just 0-for-6 from 3-point range and is still missing a lot of shots, but a win is a win. We know better than to count a player like Durant out no matter how cold he gets.

Photo: Twitter/Kevin Negandhi

Sports editor of The Oklahoman says paper ‘failed’ with Kevin Durant headline


The Oklahoman created a ton of buzz on Thursday with its controversial headline that ripped Kevin Durant with two words in large, bold letters — “Mr. Unreliable.” According to the sports editor of the paper, the message was misinterpreted by the masses.

After the cover went viral, The Oklahoman sports editor Mike Sherman said the headline “missed the mark.”

“We take great pride in our headlines about big sporting events and news in Oklahoma,” Sherman wrote in a follow-up blurb. “Thursday’s headline in The Oklahoman on Kevin Durant’s performance in the Memphis series missed the mark. The words were overstated and unduly harsh. The headline and presentation left the impression that we were commenting on Durant’s season, career or even character. We were not. We were referring only to the Memphis series.

“The fact the headline and presentation left that impression with so many readers is proof that we failed.”

Some would argue that the words were “overstated and unduly harsh” even if they were just referring to the opening round of the playoffs, during which Durant has averaged 28 points per game. Durant felt he deserved the criticism while Russell Westbrook disagreed.

The best thing about this for Durant? If he likes bulletin board material, he couldn’t have asked for anything more.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

The Oklahoman labels Kevin Durant ‘Mr. Unreliable’


The Oklahoma City Thunder are facing elimination against the Memphis Grizzlies in the opening round of the playoffs, and the inconsistent play of Kevin Durant is one of the main reasons for that. Durant is averaging an impressive 28 points per game through the first five games of the series, but he is shooting just 40% from the floor. If the No. 2 seed Thunder are stunned by the Grizzlies, is Durant to blame?

We know where Thunder beat writer Berry Tramel stands. As you can see from the image above, the cover of The Oklahoman on Thursday referred to Durant as “Mr. Unreliable.” In the ensuing article, Tramel blasted Durant for allowing Tony Allen to shut him down.

Allen is inside Durant’s head. Durant is dazed and confused. Hesitant and docile. The Memphis Doberman has turned Durant into mere mortal this Western Conference playoff series. The Thunder is on the brink of elimination, and if Durant doesn’t return to something approaching the Slim Reaper in Game 6 Thursday night, Grim Sleeper is going to be more like it.

Durant has made just 40 percent of his shots against the Grizzlies. Allen’s been in Durant’s sneakers. Meets him at the bus and tucks him in at night. Then haunts Durant’s dreams.

Don’t believe it? Durant is so out of sorts, he’s not making hay even when Allen is on the bench charming teammates with his mercurial ways. The last two games, Durant has made just eight of 20 shots with Allen not in the game. Durant is so out of sorts, his foul shooting is mediocre — 28 of 39, a .718 percentage that is below NBA journeyman standards, much less Durant’s own .882 career percentage.

The low free throw percentage is certainly indicative of Durant feeling some added pressure, but that seems a bit harsh. Allen is a notoriously good defender and Durant has still averaged 28 points against him. And you could argue that referee Joey Crawford iced Durant before he missed a crucial free throw during Game 5.

Durant is only 25 years old. This is a bad time for him to not be shooting his best, but he has still been able to generate offense. He could easily explode in Game 6 at home and proceed to go on a tear.

H/T The Big Lead

Kevin Durant makes ridiculous 4-point play (Video)

Kevin Durant continues to make the impossible possible.

Durant completed an absurd 4-point play in the final 20 seconds of Game 2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s playoff game with the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night by throwing up a wild 3-pointer as he was falling out of bounds and drawing a foul on the play.

Not only did KD make the three, but he also made the free throw.

Look at him – his body was like “The Matrix” on the shot:

Kevin Durant shot

LeBron James admits Kevin Durant deserves MVP

Kevin DurantLeBron James has taken home the NBA MVP award the last two seasons, and he certainly deserved it each time. This year, however, it would be tough to make an argument that he deserves a third straight over Kevin Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is having the best season of his career, averaging a career-high 32.0 points and 5.5. assists per game.

Even LeBron knows it would be difficult for him to make a case for the MVP over Durant.

“I would say he’s the most consistent basketball player as far as the MVP this year, man,” James said Wednesday, via ESPN.com’s Miami Heat Index. “He’s put up some great numbers.”

Anytime you do something Michael Jordan didn’t do, you’re probably having a legendary season. Durant passed Jordan’s mark of most consecutive games with at least 25 points this month when he dropped 25-plus in 41 consecutive games. Durant is a three-time NBA scoring champion but is still searching for his first MVP.

“I think KD has had one heck of a season,” LeBron added. “And, you know, if he’s rewarded with the MVP, it would be great. It would be awesome for him, for his family. He’s played MVP-type basketball. I don’t really get caught up into what people say. At the end of the day, they have their own votes and they go from there.”

Durant is also averaging 7.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game to go along with his career highs in points and assists. LeBron is averging 26.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game, which is a slight decrease from his MVP seasons.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Durant’s 2013-2014 season is that he has kept the Thunder near the top of the Western Conference despite Russell Westbrook appearing in just 43 games. He has carried Oklahoma City through the regular season, and the numbers reflect that. The hardware should, too.

Kevin Durant on Rockets: ‘Those dudes can’t check me one-on-one’

Kevin DurantKevin Durant is averaging a career-high 32.1 points per game this season and is likely going to win the NBA MVP award. Not many teams have been able to slow him down, but the Houston Rockets were able to hold him to a modest 7-for-19 shooting night on Friday. Durant still scored 28 points, but his 36.8% shooting was one of the Oklahoma City Thunder star’s worst games of the year.

After the game, Durant was asked if the Rockets frustrated him by playing so physically. The normally soft-spoken star briefly broke character.

“They wasn’t playing one-on-one, it was one-on-three,” Durant said, via Clutch Fans. “They were funneling on me with two or three guys. Before I got the ball they had two guys on me. Those dudes can’t check me one-on-one. They know that. I ain’t afraid to say it either. I was playing with double-teams, triple-teams, but you still gotta find a way to do it. They’re physical like everybody else.”

The Rockets probably don’t care if they can check Durant one-on-one. They won the game, which is more important than being able to brag about shutting one of the best players in the game down with one-on-one defense.

The Thunder and Rockets are two of the better teams in the Western Conference. They could very well meet again in the playoffs, so perhaps Durant is trying to get Houston’s head a bit by challenging them. We wouldn’t doubt it.

H/T Bleacher Report