Dictionary.com defines “underrate” simply as “to rate or evaluate too low; underestimate.” But an edit should be made. Offset to the side, there should be a picture of Oklahoma City Thunder swingman, Kevin Durant. As baffling as it is, 29 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game is underrated. The 21-year-old from Washington D.C. finds himself with the unfortunate task of vying for league face time with two puppets and Chuck Barkley’s T-Mobile co-star.
What he may lack in name recognition to those unfamiliar with the NBA, his damn near flawless game leads many to come to the decision that he is one of the best players on the face of the Earth. His jumpshot is silky smooth. He can create his own shot. His image is error-free. And according to SportsCenter, he’s becoming more and more potent as the season progresses. From 25 points per game in October, to slightly over 30 in the first month of 2010, KD35 is a legitimate MVP candidate. After a less-than-desirable 2008-2009 season, the Thunder are executing a 180° and rank as one of the more entertaining teams to watch this season. Durant is the type of player you build a franchise around and with former UCLA standout Russell Westbrook and Georgetown star Jeff Green, Oklahoma City could have a contender in the making.
But it all boils down to the former second overall draft pick from Texas who has the potential to be a top five player (if not top three) for the next decade. As he continues to learn the professional game more with each dribble, the rest of the league will fall further and further behind the learning curve. The near and distant future also bodes well for the former Longhorn. His hopeful selection as an All-Star Game starter next month will afford him the opportunity to gain the attention from the casual fan. When the entire planet focuses on London in 2012, expect to see K.D. as one of the team’s marquee figures.
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