Kevin Durant Made Me Lose My Mind

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 2 2011 12:14 PM

Kevin Durant Made Me Lose My Mind

On Monday night, Kevin Durant scored 66 points at Harlem’s Rucker Park. In the unedited video below, Durant makes a three-pointer, then another, then another, and then another. After his fourth straight three, the crowd lurches off the sidelines and out of the stands.

Josh Levin Josh Levin

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This is the second time this summer that Durant has induced in-game mania. In a game in Los Angeles’ Drew League—the Oklahoma City Thunder star has been getting around—Durant tossed the ball off the backboard to himself, skied above the rim, and slammed it through. A dude in a Yankees cap (among many others) deemed this feat worthy of an on-court chest bump.

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The off-the-backboard-to-yourself dunk is a classic crowd instigator. Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings pulled the same move in a game in Baltimore a few weeks ago, inspiring a couple of guys in matching shorts and tank tops to do a happy jig on the baseline.

That Baltimore gym must have had Red Bull on tap. In the same game, Memphis Grizzlies draftee Josh Selby dunked on some poor guy on a breakaway—an amazing feat of athleticism that led a slightly less graceful fan to re-enact the play at center court.

While the rush-the-court three pointer is a rarer specimen, there is some precedent for Durant’s show-stopping shot. It’s been five years now since autistic basketball manager Jason McElwain made six three-pointers in the fourth quarter of a high school game, leading a wave of admirers to surge out of the stands and lift J-Mac in the air.

So congratulations, Kevin Durant. You are the J-Mac of Rucker Park.

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