Kevin Durant: Did His All-Star Game Performance Cement His Superstar Status?

Alex MonacoContributor IIFebruary 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference goes up for a dunk in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

Some athletes are born with natural talent and some work extremely hard to get to where they are.  

But what happens when you take someone with that natural talent and you combine it with an extremely hard work ethic?

You breed a superstar.

Years ago, when I was twiddling my thumbs and playing Super Mario on N64, there was an ambitious kid around my age doing what some would deem as spectacular on more than one level.

A young kid by the name of Kevin Durant was burrowed in his normal hiding spot at his local rec center. Why, might you ask?  Because young Kevin Durant was waiting until the doors locked and everyone was gone.  Then, when he was finally alone, he would sneak over to the electricity, pop the lights on and take advantage of an open basketball court, shooting through all hours of the night.  

Are you for real?

Flash forward almost two decades, a 2007 National College Player of the Year Award, NBA Rookie of the Year Award and gold medal later and what do we have?  

A superstar.  

Durant, on Sunday, February 20th, at the All-Star game, in front of Hollywood and the NBA world, solidified his superstar status.  

Kevin posted 34 points for the West, helping them win the game 148-143 over the East.  Durant scored the second most points of any All-Star competing on Sunday and also filled up the stat sheet.

Durant in the All-Star game had 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 block shots and took care of the basketball with a goose egg in the turnover category.  

I know the All-Star game is a game with a huge lack of defense, but that's beside the point.  

Kevin Durant at this point in his career is a Superstar.  He's averaged 25.9 points a game through his career thus far and is the sole reason Oklahoma City began to believe in themselves last year.  Sure, OKC has some talent, but Durant's their leader.  That's what leaders do.  They make you believe in yourself.  

This season, Durant leads the league in scoring at 28.9 points per game.  He's also averaging 7 boards a game and 2.8 assists.  

I believe the NBA to be a superstar-loaded league and No. 35 on OKC is weighing down that load.  

Kevin is going to be one of the best scorers the game has ever seen.  Even Kobe agrees...

Next stop for the 6'9" superstar? The NBA finals.  

You can be a superstar without being a champion, but I know the real superstars aren't satisfied until they're a champion.  Congratulations Oklahoma City, you landed a real gem for years to come.