Friday, November 2, 2012

Kevin Durant's 10,000 Points Officially Ushers In NBA's New Era

By Adam Maher (@ArtoMar1)

Kevin Durant became the second youngest bro in NBA history to hit the 10,000 point mark last night, brah. He turned 24 on September 29, just over a month ago. Of course, LeBron James holds the title for youngest bro ever to hit 10,000, just 59 days into his 23rd year. And be sure not to confuse "youngest bro to hit 10,000" with "fastest bro to hit 10,000." Fastest refers to how many games played it took - a record still to this day held by Wilt Chamberlain (236 games).

This milestone is so awesome.  

All the great players generally hit the 10,000 point mark around their 4th, 5th, or 6th NBA season. And now that both LeBron and Kev have crossed over, it's official: the generation of kids who were 10 years old when Michael Jordan, who can boast 32,292 career points, won his final NBA Championship in 1998's time to revel in immortality has arrived. 

With this milestone, Kev, who is the three-time reigning NBA Scoring Champion, is now full-on in the prime of his career. Expectation wise, he still has a few more years to go until he "needs" to start winning championships, to exceed Jordan's and James's career paths. Not to mention LeBron has finally begun his first title-defending campaign. For years these two broz were the "future" of the NBA. Now it's really their time. And like I said, it's our time as mid-twenty-year-old fans to finally witness the NBA in its most epic form, something that most of us just barely missed when Jordan was doing his thing -- I was more in tune with what "Rugrats" and "Ren & Stimpy" episodes were on that day in 1998.

That's not to say the NBA broz who came between the Jordan and LeBron/Durant eras didn't KTG. Kobe, who sits at 29,536 points, held it down for the interim, as did Kevin Garnett with 24,279 points, Dirk Nowitzki with 24,134 points, Ray Allen with 22,960 points, Paul Pierce with 22,614 points, Tim Duncan with 22,602 points. Not to mention the retirees: Shaq with 28,596 points, Reggie Miller with 25,279 points, and Allen Iverson, the Great, with 24,368 points. And that's just the tip of the tip of the iceberg for the amount of great players we twenty-somethings got to watch over the last 10-14 years.

People hadn't been this excited about mano e mano competition in the NBA since Bird vs. Magic.

Before the Celtics restocked their arsenal this offseason, and the Lakers put together the most powerful team we've seen out West since Shaq, and Tim Duncan decided he'd take a sip from the fountain of youth, and the Clippers went off and turned themselves into the deepest team in the League, and the Nets claimed the "best back court in basketball" -- lol maybe the best back court in BK -- and the Knicks put together Melo, Stat (when he comes back), and Tyson Chandler, the reigning, though probably not completely deserved, Defensive Player of the Year, the NBA was shaping up for an annual showdown of Kevin vs. LeBron. Now that notion might only be saved for epic duels in the All-Star game... 

Durant's 10,000 point milestone came on the shoulders of a heartbreaking loss to the 2-0 Spurs; starting a season with a loss is never a good omen. Last night's game could easily foreshadow the 2013 Western Conference Finals, unless Russell Westbrook can turn the tides on Tony Parker. But NBA Championships aren't won in the first game of the season (or the second), it's a full-year grind -- one of the toughest grinds known to the sports world -- especially since this season is much longer and will be more grueling than last year's lockout-induced short season.

So this one goes out to KD.

The Durantula, aka the Kid, aka KD Trey, aka the second youngest player in NBA history to hit 10,000 points. For officially ushering in a new golden era of NBA basketball, for bringing me and all the millions of twenty-something-year-old NBA fans who missed out on Jordan's first (and most likely second as well) three-peat what we've been waiting for: you.

PS - Is anyone down to meet me in OKC to watch a Thunder home game one weekend this season?

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