Monday, September 13, 2010


The US national basketball team won the FIBA world championship last night, proving yet again that black people are way better at basketball than anyone else. Particularly Kevin Durant. The guy is a complete freak. And he's not a freak the way LeBron is a freak. LeBron uses once-in-a-generation athleticism and strength to overpower and overwhelm his opponents. Kevin Durant is something else entirely. Kevin Durant is skill personified. He's more like Larry Bird than LeBron James, and I know that sounds ridiculous but think about it. Larry Bird was one of the whitest guys to ever play professional basketball (Chris Mullin was #1 of course) and I mean that in the best way possible. Larry Bird made his physical shortcomings absolutely irrelevant. It didn't matter that at 6'9" he could barely dunk the ball. It didn't matter that he was about as quick as the Tin Man. It didn't even matter that for years he sported the worst mustache Western society had seen in a century.

Bird's intelligence, court vision, skill and hand-eye coordination were off the charts. Sure, he was extremely talented but he never relied entirely on his natural abilities. He was a student and scholar of the game. His fundamentals were airtight. He saw everything before anyone else. Every night he played he was the smartest and savviest player on the floor. He had ice water in his veins. He was comparable and intimidated by absolutely nobody. He smiled while he torched you. He was the one player of whom the also-incomparable Magic Johnson said "Of all the people I play against, the only one I truly fear is Larry Bird." He had supreme self-confidence and could take over a game from the tip-off but loved nothing more than making his teammates better. And he had the sweetest jump shot the NBA had ever seen before, or since. Kevin Durant is becoming that kind of player, and he already has a jump shot that would have placated Mark Whalberg during his racist phase. Kevin Durant is not big, nor is he particularly strong, but he doesn't need to be. He finds the space, the gaps and if he can't, he'll rise up in your face and shoot the purest shot you'll ever have the privilege of not blocking. His teammates love him. His fans love him. If his passing, handling and defense catch up with his scoring ability, he'll likely be the best player in the NBA and he'll be that player for years and years.

I don't want to say KD carried Team USA during this past tournament, but he was the primary scorer almost every night and, most amazingly, I don't think he had a single off night. In nine straight games. He went off for 38 points at 56% shooting against the Lithuania Jean Claude Van Dammes. And he did that all with teammates he hasn't played with before extensively and with FIBA rules instead of NBA rules (and believe me, subtle rule changes can really mess with your game). He was more than impressive. And yes, he was also playing with the "B" team, since the team consisted of very few of the NBA's very top players at each position so that gave him more room to perform, but it doesn't matter. He showed signs of being the force to reckon with for the next ten plus years. He's talented, humble and a team player. I really wish he didn't have to play in Oklahoma City.

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