Dirk Nowitzki has set the mold for big guys that can shoot from the outside. He’s going to go into the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest shooters of all time, and he’s 7 feet tall.
Last year he took over during the NBA Finals and this year he has to pass off the torch to another tall guy who can light it up from the outside. Kevin Durant isn’t quite a 7-footer, unless you’re looking at his freakishly long wingspan, and he has more athleticism and more of a guard’s skill set than Nowitzki, but he still belongs in the category of “super tall guys who can shoot.” Dirk himself has had to acknowledge the talent that Durant brings to the table.
“KD is way ahead of my curve,” Nowitzki said. “He’s arguably the best player in the league right now. I see a guy that really has no holes.”
If Durant keeps playing the way he has been, especially head-to-head against LeBron James, we may be able to remove the “arguably” from Dirk’s comment. Even though KD missed out on the season MVP trophy this year, he may get a Finals MVP and an NBA title before LeBron does. Not only that, but he’d probably be in prime position to take the regular season MVP next year, and for many years after that.
Of course, that is all speculation. We’re only one game into the Finals. All we have right now is some of the highest praise for Durant from one of the greatest players of all time. Dirk says he’s been watching all the Thunder games since they swept his Mavericks out of the playoffs (except for the night his satellite got knocked out by a storm). Just like Dirk, most people are keeping a close eye on the Thunder and their superstar Kevin Durant. It’s easy to see this kid has something special, he’s ahead of everyone’s curve.