Our nation's capital has a long history of basketball greatness, and Kevin Durant is quickly making his way up the list of the greatest players to come out of Washington, D.C. Yet Durant demurred Wednesday when he was asked whether he belonged in the discussion off all-time greats from "The District."
"My goal as a kid was to be the best player ever in my area," Durant told reporters. "That was my first goal before even thinking about going to college or the NBA, so that means a lot to me. But I don't think I'm up there with those guys, Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing and Adrian Dantley and guys like that. I've got to keep working and, hopefully, I get there. That's always been a goal of mine, and hopefully I achieve it."
Add this as another impossibly humble moment for the three-time scoring champ. If the Montrose Christian School alum does not think he is on par with Bing and Dantley, both Hall of Famers, he is closing the gap with haste. Durant already has half as many All-Star Game appearances as Dantley (Durant has gone to three in five seasons; Dantley went to six in 15) and three times as many scoring titles as Bing.
It will take more than a few scoring crowns and an NBA Finals appearance for Durant to surpass Baylor, one of the league's original "above-the-rim" players, as well as a pioneer in the fight for equal treatment of blacks in sports.
Still, give the guy credit for knowing his history and having love for his hometown.