I have more respect for Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Kevin Durant than ever before.
On the morning of OKC’s first NBA 2013-14 game against the Dallas Mavericks, Durant declared at the shootaround that his basketball idol was Mavs PF Dirk Nowitzki. As a matter of fact, the second overall pick of the 2007 draft had been checking out Nowitzki’s game since he was in junior high developing his own baller skills.
As the Thunder host the Mavericks at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Durant looks forward to a healthy competition against his role model, who is 10 years his senior. Nowitzki turned the Big 3-5 this past summer, and Durant’s 25th birthday was a little over one month ago.
One move that Durant modeled after Nowitzki was the one-legged fadeaway signature shot, which Durant spotted out at the ripe age of 13. Durant debuted it at Dallas’ American Airlines Center. I may be biased when I say I think that Durant says some of the smartest things because, despite this Red River Rivalry, he does have connections with Texas. First, he attended and played for the University of Texas before he was drafted.
Recently, Durant gave “hoop hype” to his former OKC teammate, James Harden, who now plays for another Texas team, the Houston Rockets.
The Thunder superstar said that he thought that Harden should be in Sports Illustrated‘s Top 10 players of the league instead of Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. Injury-prone “D-Wade” was hypersensitive and did not take too kindly to that remark, so his reaction showed the magnitude of his defensive mode off the court.
Therefore, I admire the outspokenness of Durant, and this matchup against his role model should be interesting.