Acclaimed author and famous Sonics fan Sherman Alexie, in a review of Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball had this to say about Kevin Durant:
I’m not the technical guy who can link readers to the many statistical sites that prove what some of us already know, but you Durant maniacs and Internet hounds can easily find them and learn this: At this point in his career, Kevin Durant is Glenn Robinson 2.0. Yes, Durant is an offensive marvel, but he doesn’t yet rebound effectively, pass the ball well, or make his teammates better.
In the brief time I watched him here in Seattle, I can’t tell you how often the basketball fanatics around me would complain about Durant’s habitual inability and/or unwillingness to rotate on defense. With his height, speed, and grace, he should be getting three help-side blocked shots a game. He’s not. That is a serious problem. And it’s a problem that Simmons—who is so great at pointing out the weaknesses of other players’ games—fails to notice because he is kneeling with his head against the pew in the Church of Durant.
For those not wanting to click over and read, Alexie is praising Simmons for taking a side in the Durant-Oden debate and is pointing out how Simmons is likely “happy” that Oden went down again. But Alexie says this leading into the Durant breakdown, “And I’m here to say that Simmons believes far more in basketball religion than he does in basketball science, at least when it comes to Kevin Durant.”
Alexie is basically suggesting that Durant isn’t a good basketball player. Good scorer, yes. Complete basketball player, nay. I think Alexie has the rookie version of Durant emblazoned in his mind. Because the current incarnation is a near complete player that scores at will, plays improving defense, rebounds well and leads his team both by example and words. I think Alexie is confusing his Durants here. Or maybe he’s very, very bitter. Which wouldn’t surprise me.
I mean, Glenn Robinson 2.0? Are you kidding me?