In typical Kevin Durant fashion, he is making headlines for the wrong reasons. KD is one of the best NBA players this generation has seen. Virtually unguard-able offensively because of […]
In typical Kevin Durant fashion, he is making headlines for the wrong reasons. KD is one of the best NBA players this generation has seen. Virtually unguard-able offensively because of his skill and length and he is a very good on the defensive end using that length to his advantage.
There is one major problem with Kevin Durant that I will never look past it. He is tissue paper mentally. For a guy who has always gotten a pass for most of his career, he sure does like to make it seem like he’s a massive victim over his career. He has called out the media when faced with questions on more than one occasion. He has called out teammates. He has shown almost no accountability when facing the music.
I’m sorry. I will never understand why and I am not sure I want to. KD has been mostly treated as anything but a superstar over the course of his career by the echo chamber. People put KD on the same level as LeBron or Kobe, right?
In terms of scrutiny, he doesn’t even come close to either of them. Starting with Kobe, Shaq leaves the Lakers and wins a championship just a few seasons later with the Miami Heat. Kobe wasn’t good enough to do it without Shaq. That was the narrative we heard.
With each passing year, everyone was reminded that Kobe didn’t win another title without him. That was until the Lakers snagged Pau Gasol to go along with other pieces such as Derek Fisher, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom. Of course all of the Kobe criticism eventually subsided and fans began embracing the career of Black Mamba. I feel people forget he was as polarizing as LeBron at one point in terms of love and hate.
Moving on to LeBron. People still don’t forgive him for leaving the dumpster fire that was Cleveland and moving on to South Beach to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Everyone criticizes him for leaving to create the a “super team,” nice buzzword. Yet, everyone ignores what Boston did. LeBron kept getting smoked in the playoffs. When he told management he needed help or he walks, that idea of help was Antawn Jamison and well beyond prime Shaq.
Fans and media have lambasted him for not being clutch or for being too passive. Yet, he has more game winners and a higher field goal percentage on shots in the final 5 seconds of the 4th/OT than Michael Jordan in the playoffs. They have scrutinized him for not winning more finals even though his teams have only been favored in just two of them.
You still hear the proverbial “how many rings he got bruh?” from the echo chamber. Let’s ignore the fact he made 8 straight finals with two teams. Let’s ignore the fact he is in his 17th season and more often than not, he has made the finals with 9 total appearances.
In recent memory, there has been this ungodly level of absurd criticism for the NBA elite.
Even Steph Curry has dealt with unfair criticism. Despite being the most transcendent star since Jordan in terms of the on court game (3 point volume across the league), he was criticized unfairly in the brink of the Warriors’ runs especially by the stars of yesteryear.
There have been theories that Steph gets the criticism because of his shimmying and dancing on the court as well as being undersized. They don’t want him to be in that class of player. But facts don’t care about your feelings, everything he’s done says he is.
Kobe, LeBron and Steph have all elevated above and beyond the scrutiny. They say what’s on their mind and they have no problem calling a spade, but only when the time and place warrant it.
Kevin Durant is on another planet. That planet is no self-awareness. When he decided to join Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn, I thought it was perfect. Not because I think they will win. Because I don’t. Quite honestly, I can’t wait to watch that dumpster fire unfold.
They are a match made in heaven because both of them completely lack any sense of self-awareness and both live in a looney bin between the ears.
Because I like Curry and LeBron, I root for those guys. I had to see Kyrie and Durant win championships despite my disdain for them. Now I don’t have to root for them. I can watch them fail miserably together.
Yes, I am a hater of both Kyrie and KD for nothing else other than the fact they are both complete idiots.
To get this elephant out the room, I think KD was overly criticized when he decided to join the Warriors. No, I didn’t like the move but I understood it. It also doesn’t help the narrative I already have about him being a bitch. But in his defense, when you see LeBron and Kobe constantly shit on for the rings or lack thereof, it is simply a byproduct of the ignorance of the NBA fans.
You can only hear that so much before you understand how important those rings are to a legacy. Too many people overstate the value of the championships. They do matter in the NBA more than NFL or MLB, but it is not the end all be all for greatness.
Going back to why I am writing this, KD in the last two weeks or so has made headlines for two different reasons that I find ridiculous. The first and most obvious is the fact he admitted what many suspected…he has burner accounts on Twitter.
He accidentally sent a tweet in response to some criticism from his personal account a while back leading people to believe he operated burner accounts. Just recently he admitted he has and will continue to use those burner accounts.
I want to paint this picture very simply for how fucking stupid it is. KD is not only in the NBA. He is a bonafide superstar in the NBA. He is going to be in the Hall of Fame one day. He is going to go down as one of the most dominant scorers ever. What the hell are you worried about Twitter for? Are you really that mentally soft?
Honestly, someone call Charmin right now because they have the perfect guy to be their spokesperson.
You worked your entire life to get to the NBA. Not only did you get there, you’re going to go down as a legend of the league. If Twitter is that bad for you that you need burner accounts to defend yourself, you’re a pussy. Get off Twitter. You clearly can’t handle it.
The second and most recent thing he said was that he left OKC because they didn’t have enough skill guys who could shoot. They had athletes, but not skill guys who could put the ball in the hole.
This dives into a whole different level of bitch for me. Can you just let OKC go?
The narrative for me started well before jumping ship that KD was mentally soft. He could never handle any sort of criticism that came his way and it wasn’t even much when he was in OKC.
He would disappear for 8-9 minutes at a time in important games in the playoffs. No one batted an eye because he played alongside Russell Westbrook. Russ was always the scapegoat for KD.
He was never criticized for not being the alpha despite holding superstar status. It was Russell Westbrook’s fault.
Going back to the hypocrisy of the echo chamber, I remember the amount criticism LeBron received after passing to a wide open Udonis Haslem from mid range in a playoff game in the final seconds, a shot Haslem has made more often than not for his career. LeBron made the right basketball play and yet he was shit on the next day for not having that killer mentality.
Why did KD not get the same criticism when he played alongside Westbrook? Shouldn’t he demand the ball if he is THAT dude based on the logic of others?
He has been the most protected superstar and looked at through rose colored lenses for most of his career. Then has the audacity to constantly put everyone under the bus. He’s a bitch.
Not only is he putting everyone under the bus, he’s fucking wrong about his teammates. That goes back to him having zero self awareness.
Before breaking down the numbers among his teammates, let’s look at the NBA playoffs as a whole during his tenure with OKC. Below you will find four different numbers…
- Playoff Average Field Goal % across the league
- Playoff Average 3 PT % across the league
- OKC Field Goal Percentage
- OKC 3 Point Percentage
This will show you where OKC stacked up against the rest of the league, including the numbers of Durant. Once we establish the league average, I will then break down OKC so you can see how wrong he is. The bold number signifies the years OKC was above the league average.
Year – League FG / League 3 PT / OKC FG / OKC 3 PT
- 2010-11 – .425 / .364 / .443 / .316
- 2011-12 – .432 / .308 / .465 / .355
- 2012-13 – .439 / .325 / .427 / .349 *No Russ
- 2013-14 – .438 / .350 / .450 / .323
- 2014-15 – *No KD
- 2015-16 – .431 / .350 / .452 / .333
Based on those numbers, one of the things OKC did better than most is score inside the 3 point line. Thanks to formidable bigs over the years like Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka, Enes Kanter, Nick Collison and Steven Adams, it allowed them to control the paint. They had two seasons of better than average 3 point shooting compared to the other playoff teams. They also had two not so good years in 2011 and 2014.
The thing you have to note with those numbers is that the benchmark for field goal percentage is 43%. It was fractional points more or less every single year. The 3-point percentage has fluctuated over the years with a much heftier range.
In terms of field goal percentage I will show you the numbers of those who logged significant minutes. Defining significant minutes for me is one quarter of basketball.
For the 3 point percentage, I will go with volume over minutes because there are guys who don’t play significant minutes, but come in for short spurts to knock down a three or two. Most teams have those guys. Ranking the shooters on 3 point, I will only look at the guys who logged at least 25 threes because that means they were likely shooting multiple threes each game.
The first response to this will probably be, but how much does Kevin Durant inflate those numbers? The truth is…he doesn’t.
Before diving in further, this isn’t me saying Kevin Durant is not valuable and Kevin isn’t the largest part of the equation for the playoff success of OKC. He absolutely is. This is me saying Kevin Durant is wrong when he says he had no help shooting.
In 2011, there were 7 guys who logged significant minutes for the Thunder.
Of the 7 players, 6 including KD logged a field goal percentage above the 43%.
Westbrook was the odd man out logging a FG% of .394.
The Thunder had six guys log at least 25 3s in the postseason.
Durant was third at .339.
In fact, three of the six shot better than the league average including Durant.
The other two were Daequon Cook at .348 and Eric Maynor at .360.
In 2012, OKC had 8 players who were logging significant minutes.
Of the 8, 5 shot better than 43% including KD, Russ, Ibaka, Harden and Collison.
I would also like to point out that not a single player who logged significant minutes shot under 41%.
In a down year of 3 point shooting in the postseason, OKC had 6 guys who shot at least 25 threes.
All 6 of them were above the league average.
The lowest on the totem pole was Thabo Sefolosha at .327.
Durant was 3rd at .373.
2013 *No Russ
OKC had 8 guys log significant minutes, 5 of which finished with a higher percentage than 43% including KD, Reggie Jackson, Ibaka, Derek Fisher and Collison.
Five of their guys logged 25 three and 2 finished with a percentage better than .325 (Fisher and Kevin Martin).
Durant finished 4th at .314.
They had 9 guys log significant minutes and once again 5 finished with a field goal percentage better than 43% including KD, Ibaka, Jackson, Fisher, Collison.
Once again, five guys shot at least 25 threes and 3 of them finished better than the league average.
Durant finished 3rd at .344.
We saw OKC run a 7 man rotation basically under new head coach Billy Donovan.
Of the 7 who saw the majority of minutes, 5 of them logged a field goal percentage of 43% or better.
Durant was 5th at .430.
Not a single player having significant time finished under 40%.
Westbrook was the worst at .405.
On the other side of the equation, Durant doesn’t have much room to talk on this year especially.
OKC had 6 people attempt 25 or more 3s.
Durant was dead last from deep shooting at .282.
How Did Durant Fair in Elimination Series?
The other part of the equation I will break down is how he performed compared to his supporting cast (those who logged significant minutes) during elimination series based strictly on his shooting percentage.
Now keep in mind, his field goal percentage should be lower than the likes of guys like Kendrick Perkins simply because they play in the paint and are getting much higher percentage looks. However, if his argument is he didn’t have other shooters, why does he get a pass for poor shooting in the postseason?
If you look at the series over the years where the Thunder were eliminated, more often than not, Durant didn’t perform great. The following reflects his series FG and 3 PT FG percentages.
- 2011 Conference Finals (1-4 v Dallas) – .429 / .233
*Sefolosha, Cook and Harden all shot better overall AND from deep*
- 2012 Finals (1-4 v Heat) – .548 / .394
*Led in both by a large margin*
- 2013 Conference Semis (1-4 v Memphis) – .421 / .357
*2nd in FG% and Tied 3rd in 3PT%*
- 2014 Conference Finals (2-4 v San Antonio) – .475 / .333
*5th in FG% (Two Bigs at 1 and 2) and 3rd in 3 PT%
- 2016 Conference Finals (3-4 v Golden State) – .423 / .286
*5th in FG% (2 Bigs at 1 and 3) and last in 3PT%
For him to say that no one in OKC could shoot well is not only completely bullshit, it is a lack of accountability. He did not perform well in the 2011 or 2016 elimination series. The only year he had a case for no help was in the 2012 finals where everyone on that team disappeared compared to KD.