Kevin Durant has taken many leaps and bounds throughout his professional career. Drafted second overall in 2007, he has grown from a primetime scoring threat to a legitimate NBA legend. Reflecting on his 14 years in the Association, Durant recognizes his evolution with the game at large. He’s seen a change in status among league circles through his rapport with the league’s next generation. He spoke on that during his appearance on “Knuckleheads” with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson.
�I see other guys say, ‘Y?, I watched you when I was young!’ I was that same kid telling somebody, ‘Y?, I watched you when I was young!’ Sometimes, it’s bittersweet, ’cause I’m like, ‘Sh**, I am getting older.’�Kevin Durant
What Durant touches on here pertains to the NBA’s ever-changing atmosphere. Players come and go, but their impact on the league and the game will last beyond them. Durant serves as a testament to that cause. In his 14-year run, he has excelled and inspired. The same rings true for some of his contemporaries, such as LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
From one era to the next
This being the NBA’s 75th anniversary, we ought to look back and appreciate the great players that have forever changed the league. In the latest days, we’ve seen Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson make everyone a proponent of the three-point shot. On the other hand, LeBron James influenced young athletes to become the best all-around performers they could be. The late Kobe Bryant has inspired a tireless work ethic among his peers and followers.
These players and others have had their influence trickle throughout the league and its supporters. Now, players take shots from further beyond the arc. Others put greater emphasis on versatility and two-way play. And now, more than ever before, players take a higher measure of pride in their practice and perfecting their craft. Kevin Durant and company took from those who came before them and, in a similar fashion, inspired the next generation to adhere. This trend will continue for as long as the NBA stands.