Kevin Durant is rapidly becoming the NBA’s best player. Leading Team USA this summer to the gold medal at the Fiba World championships in Turkey have made Kevin the face of USA basketball, and a global icon.
Amidst all the praise and success, Durant has remained just as humble as he was when he first arrived in Seattle as a rookie. He is hungrier than ever to become even better, and this summer was the turning point in the career of this once in a lifetime talent.
Durant finished second in the MVP voting last year to Lebron James, now of the Miami Heat. With James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh all on the same team, there is not way one could get enough votes to win the MVP. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers, has way too much help, and Pau Gasol is quickly becoming just as valuable Kobe.
Durant led the Thunder to their first playoff performance in Oklahoma City since the franchise relocated from Seattle. They were the 8th seed and faced the eventual champion Lakers in the first round. While the Thunder lost in 6 games, the series was closer than people predicted, and after the closing game 6 win, Kobe was very happy to escape with the series.
In 2011, Durant will not only help the Thunder win more games, he will make his teammates much better. Kevin will allow Russell Westbrook to have more offensive responsibility, both in terms of Russell’s scoring, and his job to run the offense. Thunder forward Jeff Green will benefit from open shots while defenders double team Durant.
Kevin will remain a great scorer, but I envision his scoring to go down, as he becomes more of a team player. His rebounds and assists will most likely go up. He will sacrifice scoring to make the team better, and Kevin has no problem with that. His stats, and the amount of sportscenter highlights he has are not important to him, just winning. Kevin will win the 2011 NBA MVP award, but he could possibly win the NBA Finals MVP award too.