There is a lot of masked, subtle brilliance to what Kevin Durant does. It’s almost like drinking a fine wine — you have to know what flavors you’re looking for to appreciate it fully.
Durant had one particular sequence against the Dallas Mavericks yesterday that embodies that. His block on Darren Collison wasn’t just a 6-foot-10 guy blocking a much shorter guy; it was speed and timing blended beautifully. Watch Durant beat Collison in a dead heat from half court and then time his strides perfectly to meet the ball at the top of the square on the backboard. A nanosecond later and it’s goaltending, but if he comes any earlier Collison probably draws the foul.
Of course, this is where it gets fun. Durant then takes the ball from one baseline (he was actually out of bounds, so there’s that) all the way to the other to dunk on Chris Kaman, a 7-footer that had all the time in the world to prepare himself. But again, the dunk itself might not even be the most impressive thing here. Watch how effortlessly Durant takes the ball 94 feet in six dribbles. Six! Watch him bounce like a long-jumper on his approach to the rim, building up his momentum to elevate towards the rim. Sometimes with Durant, the lead-up to the highlight play is actually better than the payoff:
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.