We’ve always thought Kevin Durant’s body type combined with his unique offensive skills reminded us most of George Gervin. While some might snicker at the comparison because Durant is so much more of an all-around player, and most can’t remember Iceman’s late ’70s, early ’80s ABA-NBA peak, on the attacking end of the floor, they have the same style of languorous grace that lulls defenses into lapses in concentration.
KD’s sweet reverse layup last night might fall under that genealogy — a natural extension of the Iceman’s finger rolls that turned him into a barbershop staple as the star of this grainy silver and black Nike spot.
Except, as the above Vine and the below GIF make abundantly clear, his progenitor may be Gervin’s ABA rival, Dr. J.
The body control is certainly similar — though KD can go left (Julius always struggled going to his left) — and the spin off the backboard is equally as impressive. The contortion mid-air and then finish on the opposite side of the rim turns both players into icons. We’re a tad more partial to Erving’s bucket, though. Maybe it’s because we think Terry Pluto’s Loose Balls is a top-five basketball book of all-time or that shaking the Doctor’s hand outside a New Orleans hotel over All-Star weekend in 2014 gave us a new appreciation for his regal bearing and those insane hands. Or maybe it’s that Irving’s reverse came in the 1980 Finals against the Lakers and KD’s was just from a regular season game.
Regardless of which player is more aesthetically pleasing on the play, one thing’s for certain: Both players are all-timers and these singular plays are only a fraction of what they’ve offered — and continue to offer, in KD’s case — basketball audiences.
Plus, this isn’t the first time he’s done his Dr. J act: