We don't want to get ahead of ourselves by titling this post, "Kevin Durant: Best Player in the NBA," so we present this question to you: "Is he the best player in the NBA?"
Current evidence is clear. Durant put on an awesome display at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, leading the U.S. Team to its first gold medal since 1994. The 21-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder star earned FIBA MVP honors after averaging 22.8 points and leading the team to a 9-0 run.
With 2008 Olympic standouts Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade deciding to sit out the FIBA tournament, many observers had doubts about this year's young U.S. squad. "I think that was extra motivation," Durant says. "It was exciting to come out here and win and also to prove people wrong."
What we admire and respect about Durant is how he carries himself both on and off the court. Team USA Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski says, "The beauty about Kevin is he's pure. He's not trying to do anything except play basketball and get better. I love coaching him; and he learned how to be a really great international player in the last five weeks, which will help him be an even better NBA player. He's very genuine. He's a special guy and definitely a special player."
Earlier this summer, rather than trumpeting his contract extension in a one-hour TV special, the low-key Durant used 140 characters and tweeted about it. He's also proclaimed on several occasions his love for Oklahoma City.
Next season, when the lights of South Beach are flashing brightly, we'll be looking for a true shining star in Oklahoma City.