Count on Kevin Durant to take — and make — the big shot

Durant did it again Sunday. He proved he's not afraid to take the big shot.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 6, 2013

All of which makes Durant 4-for-4 in the last two postseasons something north of remarkable and amazing.

“No question, guys have it and guys don't,” said Scotty Brooks. “And Kevin has it. He loves big moments.

He has it because he has the skill level, he has the ability to get where he wants to get to. And in order to really have it, you have to understand that some nights, it's not going to go for you. The ball's not going to fall in the basket.

“But you have to do it again the next time. You have to have that short-term memory also, and Kevin does have that. If you're really good, you'll probably make 45-50 percent of ‘em.”

Nope, not even close. And Memphis coach Lionel Hollins doesn't really understand the concept, either.

Hollins said all great players are clutch players, else they wouldn't be clutch players.

Hollins trotted out names like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Sam Jones, John Havlicek, Bob Pettit and George Mikan.

No offense, but Hollins no more knows if Mikan was a clutch player than he knows what Mikan bought his bride every Valentine's Day.

A study a couple of years ago found that Kobe, then considered the game's greatest closer, was making 28 percent of his shots in such last-possession situations. Twenty-eight percent.

The strange side of that ESPN research is not the rest of the NBA's 2-for-23. It's Durant's 4-for-4.

“That's how you build a legacy,” Fisher said. “How you become a part of the history of this game, by making those great shots.

“Kevin, only five or six years into the league, has become one of those guys we'll remember forever.”

No way, of course, that Durant can keep this up. Too hard. Defenses are too good. Basketball fate doesn't fall on your side that much.

Don't count on Durant to keep lifting the Thunder from defeat to victory as the clock ticks down. Just revel in the splendor that he's done it this much.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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