Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant has been remarkable this season, averaging 32.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game, all while shooting better than 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three, and 87 percent from the free throw line.
And he does all of that while being 6-foot-9.
The Washington, D.C.-area native is the frontrunner for to be named the NBA’s MVP, but when it comes to giving a historical perspective on the matter, who can he most accurately be compared to? It’s a natural habit, taking one player and saying he plays like another.
New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams offered up a comparison before his team faced the Thunder on Friday night.
“[Durant]’s a very unique player, reminds me of what Len Bias would have been if he played in the league,” he told NewsOk.com. “[At] 6-8, 6-9, can shoot it and run, can dunk and defend, play many positions. I’m just impressed by the way he gets better every year and his passion for the game.”
Bias, of course, played for the University of Maryland from 1982-86. He won the ACC Player of the Year twice and was named an All-American during his senior season in College Park.
He was drafted No. 2 overall in the 1986 NBA Draft, but passed away two days later following a cocaine overdose. Because of his death, his NBA story remains unwritten.
But in Durant, an MVP candidate with a similar set of skills, Williams says, he sees traits of the late Maryland star.
Williams, attended high school in Oxon Hill, Md., and was a standout in college at Notre Dame from 1989-94 before being drafted in 24th overall in the 1994 NBA Draft.
“I think he’s the most unique guy I’ve seen, like Alex English, Glen Rice, Len Bias, all these guys all in one,” Williams continued on the topic of Durant's game. “He does everything. You just can’t recall a guy that long who can do what he does every single night. Shooting from 30 feet on the floor with confidence, then driving to the basket and dunking on guys and then go post up. To top it off, he’s a great teammate and a good kid.”
Durant scored 27 points on Friday night to lead the Thunder to a 116-94 win over New Orleans.