LOS ANGELES — What can be done to stop Kevin Durant?
After he dropped 95 points in two games on the Clippers — eliminating Los Angeles with the second performance and sending Golden State on to the second round against Houston — the question was posed to Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley of the Clippers.
“What you think?” Beverley said, to laughter, but challenging the reporter. “You played basketball before? What you think? That’s an honest question. What you think?”
“I promise we tried,” Williams said.
Then came high-level praise from an elite scorer himself in Williams, something that sounded almost like a recruiting pitch to a free agent to be.
“Like sometimes… sometimes you come across special people and it doesn’t matter what you send to them. There’s no scheme,” Williams said. “There’s no nothing that you can do with special people. He’s one of them. And he showed it tonight. He put them guys on his shoulders.
“Even the game he came out, he was, like, I’m Kevin Durant; y’all know who I am. That’s like a bold statement to make when you’re about to go see some guys that’s extremely competitive. And he came out that game and he said, I can really shoot over these guys and he did it. It wasn’t lack of effort on our part.
“He’s an all-world professional and he proved himself. He proved exactly who people think he is, who he thinks he is himself and he did it. And you tip your hat off to a guy like that.”
A “guy like that” is exactly what the Clippers need. An elite player who can take a strong core — something the Clippers showed they have this season then pushing the Warriors six games — and turn them into contenders.
Los Angeles is going big game hunting this season, and their playoff performance against the Warriors was part of that recruiting pitch — “look how good we are, look how much fun we have playing, how hard we go every game, don’t you want to be a part of that?
The Clippers have been most often linked to Kawhi Leonard, and most people around the league think if Leonard leaves the Raptors it will be for the Clippers. However, Durant’s name has come up as a Clippers’ target as well (even though most sources think he is bound for New York). Never hurts to make a little recruiting pitch early.