Kevin Durant says the Thunder doesn’t compare to the Lakers. Not in height, not in experience, not in titles, not in having a guy who can go off in the fourth quarter with a scoring explosion and then rise above everyone and hit a game-winning jumpshot.
Wait, a minute. Some would say that’s exactly what the Thunder has, in Durant. A scoring machine.
“I’m not there,” Durant said. “I wish, but I’m not there yet.”
And he’s telling it straight. Durant is the equal of Kobe Bryant in scoring, but Durant hasn’t yet proven to be a final-minute assassin. Kobe has. No bigger stage on which to make that claim than the Staples Center and a Laker playoff series.
Durant was bombarded in the pregame locker room by Los Angeles media. This is a stage unlike he’s been on. The NCAA Tournament, Durant said, “is nowhere near as intense as this.”
But Durant said when you cut all the glitz away, “it’ll be basketball. It’s going to be intense. The players are excited. But it’s a basketball game. A lot of people say the atmosphere is different. It might be, but it’s still basketball.”
The Thunder keeps getting told it’s a young team, and Durant pled guilty to the charge. “Until we get 30, it’s not going to change,” said the 21-year-old.