Kevin Durant Made Me Lose My Mind

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.

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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.

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.