Archive for the ‘Kevin Durant’ Category

The 2012-13 NBA season is in preseason mode, which means that fantasy basketball is in full swing with drafting, both mock and real, and the gathering of opinions should be part of your strategy to winning your league. So as part of the information to help you in becoming victorious, all this week The Fantasy Jump Off will give you the top 100 fantasy basketball players, tiered to aid your assessment of when to draft a player.

NOTE: The number in parentheses is an actual rank number, but is used loosely to help you decide within the tier. However, all players within tiers basically have the same value. All stats are from last season, unless otherwise specified.

Tier One – LeBron James (1A), Kevin Durant (1B)

Do you take LeBron or Durant with the first overall pick? This comes down to preference. LeBron has the superior numbers in assists (6.2 to 3.5), steals (1.9 to 1.3), and field goal percentage (53.1 to 49.6), while Durant is better in free throw percentage (86.0 to 77.1), three-pointers per game (2.0 to 0.9) and blocks (1.2 to 0.8). Of course, despite lesser comparative numbers from either player, you’ll take it within a non-comparative context. Them boys good.

We all know they can score and board, so the things to consider are as follows: Do you build your team around a SF/likely PF-eligible player like LeBron who will give you tons of assists from the three or four? Or a player with an excellent amount of treys and a significant advantage at the charity stripe? Either way, you really can’t go wrong. It should be noted that LeBron jacked up less threes per game (2.4 attempts) last season versus the previous one (3.5) and his career average (4.0). It’s no coincidence since he seems like he’ll be going more to the post, which will only increase his field goal percentage.

Just like in the 2007 draft when the SuperSonics had Kevin Durant fall in to their laps, picking second overall may actually be the easiest of any picks this fantasy basketball season because there really isn’t any thought process involved.

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It’s the middle of September and we’re mired in the deadest dead of the NBA calendar, when guys are just trying to get their last few moments of training and relaxation in before the grind of the season. If it weren’t for Twitter and guys keeping us updated with all the dumb things they’re doing, we’d have nothing but the classic “15 pounds of muscle” and “looks better than ever” to talk about around these parts. No fun. Instead, we get to giggle at guys enjoying their final weeks of partying and a basketball internet filled with completely subjective and utterly meaningless lists.

All of which is to say, I hope you enjoy this completely subjective and utterly meaningless list.

When we talk about what makes a player cool, it’s basically impossible to describe. That’s going to make this paragraph really fun to read, I know, but I think we all have a basic grasp on the concept. It’s some combination of charisma, accolades, talent, personality and mystique. On-court performance and style play in to this to, but as FreeDarko explained for years, probably not as must as you’d think. Simply put, there are just some guys in the league that are cooler than others. You know who the coolest guys in the league are even if you can’t explain it.

For instance, LeBron James was at his coolest when he was coming in to the NBA, before he took so much criticism and (more importantly) responded to that criticism. It’s hard for the best player in the league to be the coolest player in the league, since there is so much spotlight on them that it’s hard to be anything other than a superstar. Shaquille O’Neal was never the coolest player in the league and neither was Kobe Bryant. Michael Jordan was, even though Sam Perkins was a pretty close second. The sometimes unfair demands of being the top player in the NBA — mass marketability, grace in the media, not outwardly being a jerk or goofball — make it basically impossible for that guy to double as the coolest player in the league.

Trying to be the coolest player in the league doesn’t help either, which is why Amar’e Stoudemire isn’t at the top of this list. For whatever reason, consciously courting cool just doesn’t work. To be cool, you just have to be cool (shoutout to Uma Thurman) without really trying. As Channing Tatum said in “21 Jump Street,” trying hard is for nerds, which I understand is the least cool reference that could possibly be made with the exception of that Uma Thurman/”Be Cool” one from earlier. But then again, the concept of this whole thing is pretty uncool. C’est la vie.

Nonetheless, here is one bro’s guess at who the 10 coolest players in the NBA are, with some reasons for their selection.

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I’m not sure if knowing other people’s rap lyrics off the top of his head bodes well for Kevin Durant’s mythological mixtape or not, but I have to think that’s an encouraging sign. At the very least, it means he’s done his research.

And hey, if he remembers his lyrics to a Nike ad from three years ago when he was still being billed alongside guys like Rashard Lewis and Mo Williams (haha sure), then at least we know he probably won’t forget them in concert. That puts him ahead of Jay-Z and that’s never a bad place to be in the rap game.

(via SneakerFiles)

Remember when it was a big deal that Kevin Durant couldn’t bench 185 pounds during the pre-draft combine, like that was going to be something that could prevent him from being one of the best players in the NBA? Whoops to all those people. He’s just a skinny dude, nothing will change that.

Because, according to Royal Ivey, he certainly doesn’t go out of his way to stay skinny. From SLAM:

SLAM: Tell me something about Kevin Durant that I wouldn’t know.

RI: He doesn’t like greens. He just started eating salad like a year ago. He loves chicken wings though, but yeah, he won’t eat greens, and he’ll tell you that he doesn’t like greens or salad. I don’t know how he got so tall, or how he stays so skinny without eating greens, but he doesn’t. I sit next to him on the plane and have never seen him eat greens.

Or as Harrison Barnes would put it — he will not eat greens on the plane, he will not eat them when he trains.

Really though, it’s not much of a surprise that Kevin Durant doesn’t eat greens. He’s 23 so his body can still handle things like a triple Angry Whopper, whereas some of the older of us may have trouble digesting such a significant chunk of meat. Plus, if he was paying attention to when noted candy fiend Derrick Rose started trying to eat healthy and nearly severed some of his limbs, it’s understandable if he’s scared to really scour the produce aisle. Eating healthy can be dangerous and we all know how a restaurant salad is generally better than one you make at home. All of these are completely valid reasons for never eating greens.

But now we have to wonder if Kevin Durant is going to be mad at Royal Ivey for tattling on him not eating his veggies. Everyone always says that the Thunder are like a family, so if one of the kids is telling on the other kids, that could cause some trouble. They should probably just both go to their rooms and think about what they’ve done. Nick Collison will punish them when he gets home.

Kevin Durant raps. We know this because we’ve a) seen him rap and b) he’s going to be on Stephen Jackson’s next mixtape. Cool things that are really happening.

Along those same lines, Michael Lee of the Washington Post got Durant to admit to something that may be happening (which means it will be happening).

You talk about doing something different. There has been a lot of buzz around Stephen Jackson’s new solo album coming out. Apparently you went to the studio and dropped a verse for him?
Yeah. I did. I enjoy doing a lot of different things. I’m a basketball player. That’s what I do and what I love but that’s just not all who I am. I’m talented in a lot of different areas. Rapping is one of those things I just enjoy doing. I have fun doing. Stephen Jackson is pretty good. He’s a nice rapper. It’s a privilege to be on a song with him. It’s not one of those songs where you’re just talking about how much money you got. It’s one of those inspirational kind of deals.

Does it make you want to go in the studio and put out your own album?
I think I’m going to do something. I have some resources and some nice people that’s going to help me out. I have a studio in my house already. Maybe I might put out a little something and have a little something.

That last part is the good part — Kevin Durant is definitely going to release a rap album at some point. At least that’s what I think “have a little something” means.

And that could be interesting, considering how well Durant has managed his brand this far in to his career. Will releasing music make people think he doesn’t take basketball seriously enough, even though he obviously does? Will this be the first step towards Durant getting tattoos that people can easily see? Will he become such a huge star in the world of rap that he neglects his original career, kind of like a reverse Will Smith? There are a lot of questions that could result if Kevin Durant does release an album. Some people are weirdos and seeing their favorite basketball players rapping doesn’t always sit well with them.

So yeah, not only is there going to be a Kevin Durant-Stephen Jackson rap song, there’s probably going to be a Kevin Durant album at some point. Hopefully, in response, Russell Westbrook does something extra zany, like wearing a shirt made completely of Kevin Durant CDs. Don’t put it past him.

We all go through our own individual challenges from day to day. Maybe you ride your bike to work and it bugs you that the very first part of your ride is an incline and your legs don’t even really have a chance to warm up before you get going, but there’s no way to get around it because that’s the way you have to go. Maybe your dog is just a little too fat and needs to lose 20 percent of her body weight so she has to eat the most disgusting food imaginable, which means you’re handling room temperature tripe patties first thing in the morning. Maybe you’re not sure if the beef vindaloo in the fridge is still good, but you want to eat it so you’re willing to risk a little belly hurt. I don’t know, these are just some random things that you might have to confront from time to time. All I’m saying is, we all have frustrations we have to deal with.

Take Kevin Durant, for instance. While he was filming his new movie, “Thunderstruck,” he had to do something he hates doing. From the Oklahoman:

Heard you had some trouble deliberately missing shots.

“You guys know me, every time I get out on a court I try to get a little better. I was out there making a few shots, but once they yelled ‘action’ I had to miss. It’s difficult to try to miss shots after so many years of trying to make them, but I figured it out. It worked out well.”

Can you imagine how much Kevin Durant hated going in to a gym, having a basketball in his hands and having to miss shot after shot? That’s pretty much antithetical to every gym trip he’s made since he learned about basketball and I’m sure he couldn’t wait until they were done filming so he could get back to making shots to make up for the ones that missed. Though I guess he’d have to make double so that he could cancel out the misses. I’m not a basketball mathematician, but that seems logical.

I also really like that he had problems actually missing. I can just imagine him making like 10 shots in a row and telling the directors, “I’m sorry. I really am trying to miss” and then shrugging his shoulders because he’s too good of a shooter to remember how to miss. Though I guess if they really wanted someone to miss jumpers, they could have just hired Kendrick Perkins. Movie might not have been as big of a draw, but at least they could tap in to the horror genre.