Kevin Durant has lived his basketball life as No. 1. The Brooklyn Nets star is a former NBA MVP. A two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP. A four-time NBA scoring champion. The first pick for every basketball-related draft he’s ever been a part of — for the most part.
There was that time he was drafted No. 2, of course. In the 2007 NBA Draft, Durant was selected second overall out of Texas by the Seattle Supersonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder). But the Portland Trail Blazers had the first selection that year, and they infamously went for former Ohio State standout Greg Oden.
Oden was out of the league by 2013, a series of injuries contributing to his fall. Durant, meanwhile, will be playing in his 11th All-Star Game on Sunday.
This year, he was the leading vote-getter for the Eastern Conference, meaning he was named a captain and responsible for a drafting a team opposite LeBron James, the West’s leading vote-getter.
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Durant Takes Subtle Jab at Greg Oden
The All-Star Game draft show unfolded Thursday night on TNT. There was banter galore between the “Inside the NBA” crew — including Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Dwyane Wade, who was replacing Shaq — and LeBron and Durant, who joined the show virtually.
But arguably Durant’s funniest quip of the night was subtle and might have gone unnoticed by many viewers — like it did for most of those participating in the draft show.
Johnson set the stage by asking Durant if he was always the first pick back in his schoolyard days, to which KD responded: “Yeah, either the first or second pick, yeah.”
Durant then smiled, but it seemed no one was catching on.
“Yo, if you were second, who was first back then?” Smith said with a laugh.
“Usually somebody like 12 years older than me,” Durant replied with another smile.
Still, no one really grasped what Durant was getting at.
“Where is that guy? That’s the guy I need to find,” Smith said.
Durant, of course, was referencing Oden, who isn’t exactly 12 years older than Durant (not even 12 months), but certainly looked much older than Durant and the rest of the 2007 draft class as he was coming out.
LeBron had the last word during the sequence, finishing with a solid quip of his own.
“Whoever was the first guy taken before KD back then, KD needs to bring him to his Hall of Fame speech like MJ did,” LeBron said, prompting laughter from the crew.
Jordan famously invited Leroy Smith to his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2009. Jordan claims Smith made the high school varsity team over Jordan when he was a sophmore.
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Team Durant Has Three Nets
It shouldn’t have come as surprise, but by the end of the draft, Team Durant had a distinct Brooklyn flavor to it.
That’s because Durant selected his teammates James Harden and Kyrie Irving to join him as they look to take down Team LeBron. Durant, Harden and Irving became the first trio of Nets to all make the All-Star team in the same season. All three stars are currently averaging over 25 points per game; according to StatMuse, no team has had three players each average that many points in a single season.
The rest of Team Durant includes Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard, Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic, Zach LaVine, Zion Williamson and Donovan Mitchell.
Team LeBron includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Jaylen Brown, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Domantas Sabonis and Ben Simmons.