During the NBA Lockout in 2011, we had the chance to see some of the best players play on outside courts, playing street ball all over the country to stay in shape. And the one player that marked that time the most was Kevin Durant. And he did at the most famous basketball court in the world. Rucker Park in New York.
There has been a lot of NBA great’s trough history who showcased their game in the Rucker. But “KD” was one of the most memorable. The Oklahoma City Thunder forward at the time and reigning NBA scoring champion fired up the crowd by dropping 66 points in an Entertainers Basketball Classic game Monday.
He scored 23 points in the first half, but then got hot in the second. He scored 15 points in the third quarter and set up everything for the show. Towards the end of the game, he drained 4 threes in a row all while being double or triple teamed. When he hit that last three the crowd just stormed the court and surrounded him.
He was just standing in the middle of the crowd and letting everybody touch him. He was hyped up beyond measure, as his chemistry with the crowd was so intense that it was feeding off each other. Players have shot the lights out at Rucker Park before, but none quite like Kevin Durant.
After the game, KD was given the nickname “I Am The Best”, as he hopped on to Twitter and tweeted: “No lie, just had one of the best times of my life at Rucker park..wow! I love NY…Harlem waddup.”
KD reminisced of the moment in a GQ interview in 2017:
“I had one that back-rimmed in and then I ran down and then the second one just went straight in, so I’m like ‘I’m in a rhythm now,’” Durant recalled. “And then after that, just shooting from anywhere. I hit four threes in a row.”
“Ten or 15 young kids come and jump on me, like 20 adults. I’m seeing the whole crowd out on the floor.”
“That much love from the crowd that one time was a lot,” he said. “It was like a quick burst of joy like I haven’t felt in a basketball court before. It was amazing.”