Dirk: Kevin Durant 'way ahead of my curve'

June, 12, 2012
6/12/12
1:27
PM CT
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The premise presented to the 7-footer who shoots it better than any other 7-footer ever has is that no one else on the NBA map could possibly have a better grasp of how it feels to be Kevin Durant these days.

PODCAST
Thunder play-by-play guy Matt Pinto joins Coop and Nate to discuss the NBA Finals, the Thunder's Game 1 win and what to look forward to in Game 2.

Listen Listen
Who better to size up the long-limbed bomber lighting up the 2012 playoffs than the greatest singular (and similarly built) force of the 2011 postseason?

Dirk Nowitzki listened to that suggestion and just laughed.

For all that these lanky Southwest scoring machines purportedly have in common, given their size and the mere three-hour drive that separates Dallas and Oklahoma City, Nowitzki knows the truth and isn't afraid to say it out loud.

"KD," Nowitzki says, "is way ahead of my curve."

Since the defending champs were broomed out of the first round by Durant's rolling Thunder, exiting the playoffs faster than any other team, Nowitzki admits that he hasn't missed a dribble of Oklahoma City's ride to its first NBA Finals, except for the time bad weather knocked out his satellite during OKC's Game 6 clincher over San Antonio. When the Thunder are on -- avenging a 2010 first-round exit to Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers in a mere five games or letting the shell-shocked Spurs run their winning streak to an eye-popping 20 before sticking them with four straight L's -- Dirk doesn't leave the couch.

He wants to track precisely how much higher Durant is nudging the bar for supersized shooters that Bob McAdoo set and Larry Bird raised.

"He's arguably the best player in the league right now," Nowitzki told ESPN.com over the weekend. "I see a guy that really has no holes."

Read the full column here.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Rick Carlisle

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Galloway & Company: Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Mark Cuban talk

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: The Standoff

Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ramona Shelburne

ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Buy or sell

Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2