Oklahoma City Thunder’s superstar scorer, Kevin Durant, is shooting for an NBA Championship as he enjoys another great season, currently first in the league in scoring. The majority of basketball fans would not hesitate to declare the Miami Heat’s LeBron James as the premier player of the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, who undoubtedly was the league’s best, seems to be dropping in stock with consecutive season-ending injuries. Bryant spoke to Sport’s Illustrated saying that his injury last season did not have an effect on this season’s injury. At age 35, however, most of the league’s dedicated fans see it as a new era where the up-and-coming generation of phenoms are taking over the charts.
This ultimately leaves two NBA powerhouses shooting for the number one spot. First would be the two-time reigning champion LeBron James, leading the Heat, and next the underdog Thunder, led by the unrelenting Kevin Durant. In 2012, after a long and hard-fought season, the Thunder lost in a bitter five-game battle against the Heat. The 25-year-old superstar was recently interviewed on 60 Minutes Sports, animatedly stating that he is tired of being a runner-up. He revisited his high school and college career as being second place to, Miami’s recently acquired yet potentially disappointing center, Greg Oden. He also recalled his lost to the Heat in 2012 after coming so close to the glory of earning an NBA championship. This year KD is showing the world that he is hungry for that first place spot as he leads the league in scoring, averaging 31.1 PPG, ahead of both LeBron James and the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony.
The Washington Wizards recently snapped the Thunder’s 10-game winning streak and the Brooklyn Nets also broke KD’s 12-game 30+ point game streak. Now although the Thunder’s headline streaks were snapped in recent weeks, the impact has been felt around the league as Durant and the Thunder are determined to make a statement. Against the Nets, he ended the third quarter with 26 points, 7 assist and 3 rebounds, only playing 30 minutes in their 25-point victory over Brooklyn. This left a many of laymen sports fanatics baffled to why he would not play a few minutes in the final quarter to continue his streak; but to the seasoned sports fan, this was a statement heard loud and clear throughout the professional arena. While Durant is the clear-cut leader for this year’s MVP, his focus is squarely geared towards earning an NBA title as his OKC Thunder stand 3 games above the closest competition in the San Antonio Spurs and 3 ½ games above the Champion Miami Heat. More and more, it is becoming blatantly obvious that Durant has his eyes on the prize of gaining recognition as the number one player of the league.
At 48 games completed, Oklahoma City is more than halfway to their goal of earning a Championship. Recently the Thunder snapped the Memphis Grizzlies’ six-game-streak, as Durant led his team with 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assist, making another statement to the league against the team that eliminated them from last year’s playoffs in the Western Conference Semifinals. As the world gears up for what promises to be another epic NBA postseason, Kevin Durant and the Thunder are remaining humble and focused on the task ahead of dominating anyone in their path, shooting for being first in the league.
By Michael Augustine