Kevin Durant thinks he should have been an All-Star- and he’s absolutely right.
Now, he never actually came out and said this, but his dominating performance in Friday night’s Rookie-Sophomore game delivered the message loud and clear. From the game’s opening tip, it was obvious that Durant had brought an intensity to the floor that was absent in the game’s other seventeen participants. Durant wasn’t just happy to be there, not for this game at least, and nor should he have been. Ordinarily a guy who, through 53 games, has played all but 469 of his team’s minutes, averaged 25.5 points and nearly seven rebounds per games, and shot 47.9% from the field, 42.9% from 3-point range and 85.7% from the free throw line, would be an absolute lock for the All-Star Game. Throw in the fact that Durant’s just 20 years-old, the NBA’s defending Rookie of the Year, and a budding superstar, averaging almost 29 ppg (on roughly 50% from the field, 44% from 3, and over 87% from the free-throw line) in his last 20 games, and this shouldn’t even be a conversation.
However, for reasons that are only apparent to the Western Conference’s assistant coaches, KD was deemed unworthy of a spot in Sunday’s game. That it’s likely to be the last time in at least a decade that this happens is no excuse- though this slight obviously lit a fire within Durant, who took center stage on Friday night and delivered an offensive display that was reminiscent of his superhuman freshman season at Texas, scoring 46 points on 17-for-25 from the field (he made 4-of-8 3-pointers), and all eight of his free throw attempts in just 31 minutes (that’s almost 1.5 points/minute!), and providing a glimpse of the kind of work he’ll be doing in the Association for the next dozen years.