There was article from Shams Charania on Tuesday in which Kevin Durant said a whole bunch of stuff that reminds you that he has completely stopped caring about what he conveys to the media. Perhaps the most unique statement was that he makes everyone who comes to his house watch Michael Jordan highlights.
Now, look, this sentiment is … imperfect. And sure, it’s a little weird to have a guest in your house, in which you are one hundred percent the highest status person in room, and to personally subject them to your pet obsession before you offer them a soda or whatever. But here’s the thing: he’s right.
Everybody that comes to my house, whether it’s friends or family, I make them watch Jordan highlights. This is equivalent to (Albert) Einstein … f*cking (Ludwig van) Beethoven … or (Barack) Obama. This is the greatest talent and athletes and minds of the world. Just because they play sports, people think one way. But they’re masters, they’re geniuses. I just started realizing that a few years ago: Watching those guys can really spark my creativity.
Look: Durant is a strange dude, don’t get me wrong, and he is flexing in public a little more lately, not really caring if people think he might be kind of a strange dude, the kind of guy who invites you to his house and sits you down and shows you Michael Jordan mixtapes like they’re family pictures from a vacation to Disney or something.
That being said, Durant is right, because Michael Jordan owns.
He is the most entertaining basketball player imaginable, and even if you’re a weirdo who tries to insist that LeBron is better than him — all respect to ‘Bron, but also, come on — you have to admit that LeBron’s game, where he just executes massive heaps of overall production all night and racks up absurd stat lines, is far less entertaining than MJ doing assassin stuff. He never misses on crazy shots he created from nothing, overwhelming the dude who is guarding him so much that said dude always appears on the edge of tears. LeBron is out there playing diplomacy ball while MJ is running down the hall night after night, beating dudes to death with a hammer one after another.
We should ALL be watching Michael Jordan highlights, all the time. They rule. I will briefly index them to let everyone know the goddamn truth.
Man watch this extreme goodness! Good as hell, man. Dikembe Mutumbo talks trash on the training table, insists Jordan never got him, and then, later in the season, MJ sees an opportunity, looks borderline gleeful at the chance, catches the ball on a cut, gives Dikembe the business, then WAGS HIS FINGER at him!
Jordan, for all his greatness as a statistical performer and an overall basketball player, was also an excellent pro wrestler, the kind of dude who lived to flex on people to impress in the minds of the world that he was powerful and unstoppable. His fighting spirit, frankly, is unmatched in the history of sports.
But it’s not just about his spirit levels breaking Vegeta’s monitors. Hell no, baby. He was also a grinder, an innovator, a creator. Look at him pivot around like 50 defenders to get to the rim, working the baseline with a fluidity and grace that one player in the current NBA can claim to have. It is James Harden, who, bless his heart, uses it unambiguously for the cause of manipulation and lies (this is not a bad thing, as he rode this wave to an MVP award and a few MVP runners-up). Jordan, on the other hand, uses it to dunk on Patrick Ewing and then stare at him while running back on defense, which is, unambiguously, tremendous.
Also look at this. Oh my god, man, it’s perfect. It is offensive to me that Kobe Bryant peddled a fake version of this in the NBA for like a decade and people lapped it up. There is absolutely no substitute for the real thing, man, old beefy MJ catching the ball mid-post, getting perfect position, snapping his whole body around, getting his hands in perfect position, leaning back, and sinking that thing basically every time. It’s like a skyhook manifested into a whole human body. Just beautiful, man.
This past weekend, I was watching the 1991 Finals (for my world-famous basketball history podcast) and I watched the MJ hand-switch dunk in context. It’s amazing on its own, but what you may or may not know if that it was his thirteenth straight made field goal in the game. Thirteenth! Basically he has spent the entire game just giving it to anyone and everyone while Scottie Pippen embarrasses Magic Johnson and then, right when it seems like he should probably miss, he makes up some wild nonsense midair and does not miss.
Then, when he retired, he became an unstoppable tequila demon, drunk off a lifetime of unceasing victory and also absurdly expensive booze. He has given you so much, and yet you scoff in his direction like an ingrate, saying LeBron is better, despite the fact that MJ is a GodKing who could have you eaten by lions whenever he wanted.
Kevin Durant is doing god’s work by showing Jordan highlights to random people who walk into his house. His highlights should be broadcast across every flat surface we have, in churches and malls. Before every movie, they should show five straight minutes of MJ highlights, just so you can put the movie in perspective: Yes, I enjoy this, but it is not Michael Jordan yamming on fools and therefore, it is worse than that, and now I am going to watch Emma Stone shoot a pigeon and gets its guts all over Rachel Weisz’s face.
Thank you, Kevin Durant, for showing us the light.