The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

January 31, 2014

Durant's ascension has become Jordanesque

NORMAN — In the North American team-sport athlete pantheon — sorry, Lionel Messi fans — the man atop them all is not even an American and spent his prime playing home games nearer the Arctic Circle than Los Angeles, New York or Chicago.

And, if that pantheon only included a single entry from each sport, roundball’s played his college at Kansas, then became a Globetrotter and then became the most dominant force the game’s ever known in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Philadelphia again and Los Angeles.

Sorry Michael Jordan, but you’re no Wayne Gretzky, nor even Wilt Chamberlain.

Yet Jordan remains the barometer of our time. 

All those years he was the league’s best player before he ever won a title. All those titles. All that refusing to lose.

Armed with an other-worldly skill set that turned athleticism into production in a way nobody’d every seen, he became still more than that for what he would not do: lose. 

Once he won that first championship, only a brief sojourn into another sport, baseball, allowed others to steal the crown. You just knew he’d make the shot and the Bulls would win and Phil Jackson would be tabbed as more guru than coach and Scottie Pippen would continue to feel unappreciated.

And, though attempts have been made to label some — Kobe Bryant and LeBron James — as the next Jordan, there have been no serious attempts to paint anybody as remotely like Jordan.

Let’s stop that now right now. Allow me to introduce Kevin Durant.

You want to laugh Durant out of the comparison because Jordan won five MVPs and six championships, which happen to be five and six more than Durant has yet won. You want to laugh him out of the comparison because that’s Michael Jordan we’re talking about and comparing anybody to him is not allowed.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014

  • Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo