The Emergence of Kevin Durant as an NBA Superstar

Curt HoggCorrespondent IIMarch 6, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  Kevin Durant #35 of  the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers on November 11, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.   The Thunder won 83-79.   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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Kevin Durant will score on you, and nothing you can do will be able to stop it. He might dribble right past you for a lay-up, drive in for a dunk, pull up for a tray, catch and shoot for a three, or hit a sweet step-back jumper in your face. Durant is classified as a scorer, and does so with  a dominance of a prowling lion, running down his prey and showing his dominance over the defenseless creature. Now, while Durant may not be a ferocious lion, opponents that have the disfavor of guarding him certainly feel like a stranded animal left out to dry.

          Durant was the highly covered freshman star at Texas in college, taking the “one-and-done” route to the NBA . After Portland controversially took Ohio State center Greg Oden with the first pick, the Seattle SuperSonics selected Kevin with the ensuing pick, which turned out to be one of the best moves in franchise history. While Oden is still nagged by injuries, Durant now is a prolific scorer and All-Star in Oklahoma City (the franchise moved to OKC before the 2008-09 season).

          This season, the 6’9”, 230 lbs. forward leads the NBA in scoring with 29.7 points per game, also averaging 7.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists for the Thunder. He has become the franchise player and is the leader of a team amidst the biggest turnaround in the NBA this season. One of the most amazing statistical figures of the season, Durant has scored at least 25 points in 30 straight games (as of Feb. 28), second all-time trailing only M.J. himself.

          In only three seasons, Durant has entered the discussion as one of the top players in the game today. He has the shooting of Ray Allen, the driving ability of LeBron, and the quick pull-up jumper of Kobe. A few elite possesses all of those abilities, and Kevin is one of them.

          This season, the Thunder is 35-23 and sitting comfortably in the No. 6 spot in the West. At 22, he has carried the team from last place to a playoff contender in the span of one season. In his rookie season, Seattle only won 20 games. They are now on pace to win around 50 games and only getting better.

          In the small market of Oklahoma City, neither Durant nor any of his other deserving teammates draw the attention of players in Los Angeles or New York or Boston . His scoring ability is definitely one of the tops in basketball, but the Thunder has only made two or three national television appearances. He practices in a quiet, industrial area, is not a big speaker, doesn’t make national headlines, and isn’t a tattoo showcase. Instead, he goes about his business, scores an influx of points, smiles, gets a win, talks to the media for a given time, and leaves the building.

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          No doubt, Kevin Durant is a rising star, only getting better. His Oklahoma City Thunder would fit under that same category. Durant, along with teammates such as Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook, have their fans pumped up and excited for the future—and the present—as the Ford Center is a Playoff atmosphere every home game.

          The sweet stroke of the young star Kevin Durant is creating a rumble around the NBA and defenders feel the thunderous force of his talent.