Don’t call Kevin Durant “Mr. Unreliable,” call him your next league MVP.
According to multiple reports, including ESPN, the Oklahoma City Thunder forward is expected to be named league MVP sometime next week. This announcement comes on the heels of a 33-point performance as Durant’s Thunder advances past the Grizzlies in game seven of their playoff series earlier Saturday evening.
ESPN paints the most likely scenario for Kevin to receive the award as occurring during a pregame ceremony Tuesday or Wednesday right before Game 1 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. Before tonight, that ceremony was not necessarily a foregone conclusion. But Durant, whose dominating performance in game six helped propel the Thunder to victory against the Memphis Grizzlies series helped lead his team once again to victory in the decisive Game 7, as the Thunder beat the Grizzlies, 120-109.
Earlier in the week, Durant was criticized by The Oklahoman for not showing up in critical games, running a headline that labeled Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant as “Mr. Unreliable.” But according to a report on SI.com:
“Sports editor Mike Sherman admitted that that newspaper ‘failed’ with its headline, which appeared in large letters above a photo of Durant surrounded by three members of the Grizzlies. The headline, Sherman said, was ‘overstated and unduly harsh,’ and ‘left the impression that we were commenting on Durant’s season, career or even character. We were not. We were referring only to the Memphis series.'”
To call Durant unreliable is of course an overstatement. At the beginning of the series, Kevin’s miraculous 4-point play helped send their game 1 match-up into overtime. And even though the Memphis Grizzlies eventually took home the win, it was plays like this, as reported by Inquisitr, that made the Durant as MVP talk a forgone conclusion in many league member’s eyes.
Durant led the league in scoring with 32 points per game. According to ESPN, Durant will be “the first player to win both the scoring title and MVP award in the same season since Allen Iverson did it in 2000-01, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information.”
Meanwhile, the NBA announced that in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal, the awards circuit has been postponed so that the league could settle the remaining fall out. Other award winners including Sixth Man Jamal Crawford and Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams will join first time MVP winner Kevin Durant in receiving their trophy’s.
Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, the new MVP will lead the Thunder into the second round starting next week.