Darko Milicic had my favorite quote of the year in the AP recap: “I was trying to focus on breathing,” Milicic said. “I was just focusing on breathing so I didn’t die.”
On Friday, KD and a couple other OKCers visted the House of Hoops in Harlem. Here’s one account: “But to look at him on stage, if I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t have thought the soft-spoken and lanky young man in front of me ranks second in the league in scoring at 29.7 points per game. He isn’t LeBron James – incidentally, the only player scoring more than Durant – who was seemingly groomed from middle school to be a superstar and has always carried himself as such. And maybe that’s why it seems easy to relate to Durant. As much as I love LeBron, he’s been shot so far into the stratosphere that his celebrity knows no bounds. If you know ball, you know Durant is great, but he’s not in Jay-Z videos. He’s not hosting Saturday Night Live. You don’t see him on billboards. Well… at least not yet. He does already have his own signature Nike sneaker, a pair of which I now own as of today.”
Here’s another from Dime, that includes some interesting pictures of a shirt Nike made:
A nice little piece someone wrote about KD and the Thunder: “I haven’t seen an NBA team get along as well as Oklahoma City does in a long, long time. Yeah, most of their roster is under the age of 25, but these guys actually like each other. They do everything a basketball team needs to do to win. I tuned into their game against Dallas this past Tuesday night. During the first quarter, Durant deflected a pass directed towards Dirk Nowitzki at the top of the key. Durant gathered the ball, looked up to find teammate Russell Westbrook running up the floor uncovered, passed him the ball, followed up the floor expecting Westbrook to take the uncontested lay up, but found Russell passing the ball back to him for the dunk. How many guys in the league would do that? You can’t tell me Kevin Durant isn’t the biggest influence to this unselfish play.”
Chris Sheridan tweeted Saturday that Serge Ibaka would like to enter the 2011 dunk contest, saying he can dunk from behind the free throw line. Why yes he can. Here’s proof.
Check out this Ebay auction for a blank Sonics jersey. The seller’s summary has a little… flavor to it: “Don’t miss out on this great auction for the incredibly rare blank Seattle Sonics uniform, with the alternative road jersey in deep red, green shorts with Sonics logo, and authentic sewed-on NBA logo on both. This is an awesome NBA throwback jersey and shorts set made by Champion that you could easily customize! Get some one to stitch on DURANT and 35 and you’ll have quite the collector’s item. Or put KEMP and a “40” to symbolize his number of children. Or put a Starbucks logo on it or perhaps use it to hang Clay Bennett in effigy. Put a 0 on it with ZOMBIES across the front. I don’t care what you do with it. Sadly, there wasn’t even a “Seattle Sonics” in the eBay drop-down box for NBA apparel. Sadder still is that Kevin Durant is tearing it up with a nice young team in Oklahoma City. And if you don’t know why I keep mentioning ZOMBIES, then you don’t read enough Bill Simmons, and that’s saddest of all.”
Jared Dudley says KD is definitely in the MVP hunt: “With that lost by the Cavs today I offically think we have a 2 way race for MVP.. We all know lebron number one but @KevinDurant35 is close.”
Holly MacKenzie of SLAM: “Can you honestly tell me you actively root against the Thunder? If they are playing against your team, fine, but if not, I don’t think I’d want to be friends with someone who can’t see the awesomeness in the Thunder. So much fun.”
Canis Hoopus: “Wrapping this thing up, the Wolves ran up against a superior opponent last night and they showed signs of life when their bench rotations were allowed to rack up significant minutes. The big problem they have vis-a-vis the Thunder is that they simply don’t have anyone as good as Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook on their roster. Talent matters just as much as two way play and the Wolves simply didn’t have the horses to run with the Thunder for 48 minutes.”
At the end of the Nuggets-Celtics game on ABC yesterday, the Thunder got some serious love from Hubie Brown. Maybe it’s not that big a deal, but it was cool hearing national commentators talk about how good the team is on national TV.
Ziller and Shoals ranked general managers based on swagger. Sam Presti was third: “Answer me this, does quiet-as-kept Kevin Durant have swagger? Has it crested in the least during his torrid start to 2010? So it is with Presti as the architect of a team that’s fiscally responsible without — no offense to Morey here — feeling like it’s trying cut corners. He is vision walking softly, a downright Biblical conception of what it means to carry yourself like a boss. Yes, I just compared Durant and Morey to Jesus. I watch a lot of basic cable.”
Durantula shirts have been re-stocked. Getcha sum.