Not many players reach elite status in their first three years in the league. In fact, virtually nobody in the league has reached elite status that quick.
Sure, you can say LeBron James. But who else? Kobe didn't become a premier player until around year five. In his first few years, he was able to ease into the position with a stellar cast around him. He was a great player, but not an elite one yet.
Kevin Durant has taken the Oklahoma City Thunder from being a horrible team to a solid playoff contender in one season. If the season ended today, the Thunder would be playing in the postseason and have the sixth seed in the tough Western Conference.
Is he already an elite player? It's definitely up for debate. If he's not, he's extremely close to that rare status. He is without a doubt one of the most valuable in the league.
Durant is more valuable to his team than anyone in the league aside from James. It upsets me to say that James is more valuable, but it's the truth.
So far in the 2009-2010 season, Durant has made so many stellar plays we thought he should get his own personal highlight reel. Why not?
I've put together a list that shows his best plays so far in the 09-10 season. You know you want to watch it. So watch it.
Kevin Durant Quick Facts:
Earlier this season, Durant came out lighting up the Utah Jazz. He closed the game out by scoring 30+ points and securing the win for the Thunder. After the game, the media started catching on, and the Thunder started getting more and more respect.
This was just an awesome play. He double clutched the ball after driving in on two Kings players. Check it out.
KD doesn't get excited often. But in a big game situation, Durant got pumped up and gave the Thunder a spark for the rest of the game. Durant isn't the best in the league at looking cool after a sick dunk, but he tried his best in this clip.
After seeing an opening, Durant used his quickness to attack the baseline and throw down a sick dunk going under the basket against the struggling Nets. The dunk basically was the finisher to any spark the Nets had that game, even though it's not like there was any threat. I mean, it's the Nets.
I seriously yelled at the TV making fun of Manu Ginobli as if he could hear me right after KD nailed the shot. If you don't know, this move is Russell Westbrook's go-to move by driving the ball in for a few steps then stopping on a dime and pulling up for a jumper. Great footwork. I really wanted to give KD a high-five after this one.
But in all seriousness, it's a fantastic play that's really hard to master. Not only did he do it, he made it look extremely easy.
Against the Suns, the Thunder needed a big play from absolutely anyone on the team. It just so happened the star player showed up and finished with one of the best dunks of the year. I honestly felt a little sorry for Robin Lopez after the game. They must have replayed the dunk at least 1,000 times on SportsCenter.
Durant doesn't have many clutch shots, so I had to throw this one in. It was a huge game that gave the Thunder a lot of confidence during their recent nine game winning streak. The best part was it was in the Garden, and the Thunder received a lot of national exposure after the game.
One of my personal favorites. Trevor Ariza is one of the better guards in the league, and Durant straight embarrassed him on this play. He made Ariza commmit to his left then Durant cut sharply to his left and almost made Ariza fall. That wasn't all, as he decided to finish the already stellar play with a nasty dunk. See for yourself.
This is one of the more talked about plays so far this season. Kevin Durant is a big man. He's not supposed to move like a point guard. Nor is he supposed to be able to break a point guard's ankles. He did both in this play and the video immediately hit YouTube within an hour after the game. Nasty, nasty move.
Surprise! Durant's best performance this year was a stretch over 29 games where he scored 25+ points. During the streak, he made clutch shots, nasty dunks, important rebounds, great passes, basically everything. Durant's streak is probably the biggest story so far in the NBA besides the success of the Thunder. This is a great video that everyone should watch. Sit back and enjoy.