It seems ridiculous that we, as a basketball-loving people, haven’t yet settled on a nickname for Kevin Durant.
"Iceberg Slim," "Slim Reaper," "Durantula," "The Servant." Many a noble attempt has been made, and not one has stuck—at least not yet.
We’re guessing this one probably won’t either, albeit for different reasons.
Following Durant’s game-winning three in Friday’s 119-118 win over the Toronto Raptors, Greivis Vasquez—a former high school teammate of KD’s—reached for one of the more transcendent superlatives imaginable.
Provocative? Sure. Unprecedented? Nope.
Say hello to NBA Hall of Famer and peerless streetball legend Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, who also went by the moniker "Black Jesus."
Then there’s Ray Allen, a.k.a. Jesus Shuttlesworth from the 1998 Spike Lee film He Got Game.
Even LeBron James has had the Jesus label levied his way, albeit in a more veiled form. ("We are all witnesses," anyone?)
So no, don’t expect this one to wind up on Durant’s Wikipedia page.
Try as we might to shoehorn one of the best basketball players in the world into our own ill-fitting semantics, perhaps it’s time we consider—as The Oklahoman’s Jenni Carlson did back in February—that the obvious answer’s been under our noses this whole time.
So, now with Durant playing the best basketball of his career and emerging as the clear-cut leader in the MVP race, fans have gotten hung up on his nickname. He needs one, and the sports world is ready to do something about it, darn it. But he already has one. One that's good. One that he likes. Suspend the campaign. Stop the movement. End the madness. KD has spoken.
Sometimes there’s beauty in simplicity and sometimes, well, sometimes simple just isn’t good enough. I for one happen to fall in the latter camp as it concerns "KD", which, let’s face it, kind of sounds like "Katie."
Then again, it’s not exactly my call to make, is it? A lot of superstars go their entire careers without a rock-steady nom de plume.
Also, let’s not forget Durant is only 25 years old, meaning there’s still time for a professional impetus—a historic Finals performance, perhaps—to lend itself to something that sticks.
I don’t suppose y’all want to entertain “Curly Sugar Dupree,” do you?