Zach Harper writing for Press Coverage looks at how the national media has latched on to Kevin Durant The Hero this summer to try and refresh people from LeBron James The Villain. And he makes a point worth repeating:
It’s impossible for the national media to sleep on Kevin Durant because, throughout the summer, we’ve all been made aware of just how good, and important, he is. Because he’s NOT the best player in the league — and probably not even the second or third best player in the NBA — he’s essentially not important on a nationwide scale. It allows him to fade off into semi-obscurity while the rest of us basketball blogging faithful try to convince you of just what exactly it is you’re missing.
It’s a shame too. Kevin Durant is someone who should be a national name and not just a national name when we need the alleged villain to get his comeuppance. It shouldn’t take a superhuman performance from KD or him slaying NBA giants for people to notice just how good he is. We should be prepared to have season-long discussions and celebrations throughout coverage of the NBA season. Instead, he’ll probably just be pushed to the side until we need something different to discuss.
I’m not worried about the national media sleeping on Kevin Durant. I’m just worried they’ll hit the snooze button until they decide he matters again.
It is a bit of a shame that a lot of Durant’s star has come out in an effort to counter LeBron James. I love KD as much as anyone and even I’m getting a bit tired of the He Does It The Right Way stories. Durant is a wonderful and a swell person regardless of what LeBron does. I’m guilty too, I realize. I made the comparison months ago as well. But what if KD doesn’t want to play at the Worlds in 2014 and John Wall leads the U.S. to gold? Is Durant The Bad Guy and Wall The Hero now?
I really don’t worry about the media falling asleep on KD because Durant is simply too good to ignore. He’ll be on national TV all season long, he’ll lead the league in a lot offensive categories and his team should be pretty good too. The only people that will try and hit the snooze on KD will those that weren’t really qualified to comment in the first place.