Former Seattle Supersonic #2 pick and Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant has won his first championship and it wasn’t with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
When Durant joined the Golden State Warriors this past summer, many chastised his decision. They compared it LeBron James’s “Decision” to join the Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to win not one, not two... no wait, two NBA titles. They claimed Durant was giving up, succumbing to a “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude. However, in these NBA Finals, Durant wasn’t a hanger-on. He wasn’t riding anyone’s coattails. He was dominant. He was the reason the Warriors won their second title in three years. And he was the Finals’ Most Valuable Player.
Durant scored over 30 points in every game of this Finals, including 39 in the decisive game five, and averaged 35.2 over the series. He is only the sixth player to accomplish such a feat, joining some elite company: Elgin Baylor, Los Angeles Lakers (vs. Boston Celtics) in 1962 (7 games), Rick Barry, San Francisco Warriors (vs. Philadelphia 76ers) in 1967 (6 games), Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls (vs. Phoenix Suns) in 1993 (6 games), Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets (vs. Orlando Magic) in 1995 (4 games), and Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers (vs. Indiana Pacers) in 2000 (6 games).
Durant had one of the most impressive offensive performances in NBA history, shooting 55.6% from the field, 47.4% from behind the three-point line, and 92.7% from the free throw line. Those kind of numbers put him not just in, but ABOVE, elite company;
- Michael Jordan in 1992: 35.8 points, 53% from the field, 42.9% from three, and 89.1% from the line
- Chauncey Billups in 2004: 21 points, 51% from the field, 47.1% from three, 92.9% from the line
- Ray Allen in 2008: 20.3 points, 51% from the field, 52% from three, 87% from the line
- Penny Hardaway in 1995: 25.5 points, 50% from the field, 45.8% from three, 91.3% from the line
Durant had the most efficient scoring performance of all time, and also had 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. It was truly amazing to watch.
From the city of Seattle, congratulations Kevin!