LAS VEGAS, July 22, 2007 -- His name already belongs in the same conversation as LeBron James, Frank Robinson and Wayne Gretzky as being considered one of the most dominant teenage athletes of all time, but when it's all said in done, we might be mentioning Kevin Durant with the likes of Bobby Fischer, Mozart, Will Hunting and Doogie Howser as perhaps one of greatest prodigies to ever live.And they call me a fanboy!
Through the first two days of Team USA's mini-camp, Durant has without a doubt been one of the top six or seven performers despite being just 18-years old and playing with 16 other guys who all have been through multiple NBA seasons.
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Not surprisingly then, on Friday it was Durant's offense that got everybody's attention as "KD," as he's called by the team, stroked shot after shot during the intrasquad scrimmages, hitting somewhere in the neighborhood of eight of his 10 shot attempts by this writer's memory.
"He’s just shooting the [expletive] out of the ball,” Team USA tri-captain Carmelo Anthony said about his fellow Baltimore-area native and Oak Hill Academy product, Durant.
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On Saturday, Durant showed his all-around game, quickly picking up the zone defense that assistant coach Jim Boeheim implemented and making several plays on defense. Those included closing out from the baseline to the wing in a nano-second to swat a LeBron James pull-up jumper on one possession, and rotating into the lane to dig out a steal from the hands of Dwight Howard on another.
Read the rest at NBA.com
See video of Durant and Team USA here.
Tuesday, July 24
Team USA: Durant Better Than Advertised
I can't believe I missed this:
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It's amazing that he's getting this much respect at that age - I don't remember anybody glowing like that about CHristian Laettner back in '92!
It's too bad he's going to be surrounded by guys who aren't even have as good as the players he's with this summer. No good shooter, no good point guards, a center who just barely reached the drinking age, a power forward who looks good on paper and nowhere else, .... going to be alot of of 7-for-25 nights this year for KD.
After the less than impressive summer league performance, it's pretty clear that Durant only struggled because he had no help around him. After a couple more trades this year, hopefully Durant will have something resembling a supporting cast. And hopefully it will be enough to keep him content over the next several years until our other young stars-to-be have time to develop.
Let's be clear--as lousy as the Sonics were last year, there is no comparison between an NBA team and a summer league team. The worst NBA team would beat any Summer League team 10 out of 10 times. Now, Durant won't get the kind of help he had on Team USA, but it won't be as bad as Vegas either.
I hate to do more Jordan comparisons, but I think this Sonics team will be at least as good as the pre-Pippen Bulls. Surround Durant with some decent role players and I think he could drag the Supes into the playoffs this year.
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