It’s not too many ballers who could drop 30 points after entering a game late and fresh off the street, but NBA star Kevin Durant is one of the privileged few. The Oklahoma City small forward arrived about five minutes into the evening’s twilight game between his Awash squad and Team H.O.B.O. decked in a Raiders cap and a white T-shirt, but it didn’t take long for him to get suited and thrown into the action.
Durant began his second appearance at Washington, D.C.’s Goodman Summer League located at Barry Farms Dwelling Court on June 16, much like his debut on Sunday—launching a three-pointer on his first attempt just to check the heat on his jumper.
After a flailing airball and a few one-on-one dribble duels with Team H.O.B.O. and local standout Omar Weaver, the man nicknamed KD was finally warmed up and riding with the flow of the game. After Weaver swished a three-pointer in Durant’s face, the competitive 21-year-old flashed a confident smirk as he jogged back down the court ready to attack on the next play. Facing up against Weaver on the left side of the basket, KD darted right before swinging the ball back left and finishing over Weaver with a one-handed dunk that left a sparse crowd shaking their heads in disbelief.
If you’ve never seen a 6-foot-10-inch NBA forward cross someone over and flush, it’s a pretty amazing sight to see, especially live in person. Durant made it his duty to show off his athleticism on the night; angling his body for tip dunks and gliding through traffic for no look passes and fade away jumpers.
“He loves it here inside the gates and the gates loves him right back,” announcer Miles Rawls gushed when praising the NBA’s scoring champion.
But it was Weaver who finished as the night’s high-point man, posting 37 points and showcasing a game that even an NBA MVP candidate had to appreciate. Weaver’s performance helped his H.O.B.O. team narrow a 15-point second half deficit to one before KD got serious again.
Durant drew a pair of “and-ones” on a couple of effortless layups and dished off to open cutters once the defense started to double and triple down on him. Despite the late arrival, Durant still finished with 30 points and revived his team just in time for them to finish with the win against a hard-charging H.O.B.O team.
It’s something about a NBA All-Star hooping it up with local regulars that always launches a buzz into the air at the Goodman, but it’s becoming a regular scene for attendees these days. Rawls warned the crowd to enjoy Durant’s early summer presence while they can since the budding superstar will be leaving in August to partake in Team USA’s training camp for the 2010 World Championships.
“Enjoy him while you can because he’s gone come August,” Rawls cautioned. “He got some things to take care of overseas.”
Until August, Durant’s taking care of things at the Goodman League and showcasing an Olympic-style game that continues to impress. Even without a proper warmup.