Like most up-and-coming NBA superstars, Kevin Durant experienced his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way of his championship journey. Once the masses realized how truly talented KD was, pressure and expectations started flooding in from all directions. Uncle Ben in Spiderman said it best, “With great power comes great responsibility.” By the start of the 2011 Durant’s OKC Thunder squad had grown into a formidable, championship contender with a few years of Playoffs experience. In the regular season Kevin lead the league in scoring (1 of his 4 scoring titles) and won All-Star Game MVP – firmly cementing himself as a juggernaut of the game. When the Playoffs rolled around KD lead lead the Thunder to a sweep of the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, dismantled Kobe’s Lakers and persevered against the mighty Spurs. In Game 6 against San Antonio Kevin sealed the deal with a magnificent performance of 34 points & 14 rebounds.
From a sneakerhead point of view, the KD IV is arguably Kevin’s best silhouette. The design is forward thinking yet simplistic. Classic elements like Zoom Air and a forefoot strap work well with the breathable forefoot window and low profile cut. Long time fans of KD’s kicks will remember the stellar price of only 95$. In the early years of the line, KD made a conscious effort to keep his shoe’s price point below 100$ and the KD IV found the perfect balance between value, look and performance. In true #TBT fashion, lets take a look back at some of the best KD IV releases (there were plenty to choose from, twenty-eight OG pairs released from 2011-2012)!
Battle Tested, 2018
Nike literally pulled these of the court – KD wore this exact colorway in the Game 6 vs the Spurs mentioned above. It’s always a genuine treat when player exclusives become available to the public. The Battle Tested KDIV also marks the model’s first ever retro and features the same Art Of A Champion branding we’ve seen throughout the collection. Look for these to release on June 7th (hopefully KD’s Warriors are still playing in June).
Bonus: 2012 Finals PE
Durant’s run to the Finals were truly remarkable… but once he got there the series didn’t go quite as planned. OKC stole Game 1 against the (now cohesive) Miami Heat lead by the Big 3 of James, Wade and Bosh. Unfortunately, Miami completed the Gentleman’s Sweep and served Durant’s squad four straight losses. Never the less, we’d love to see these retro too.
Year of the Dragon
The tongue details on KD’s YOTD kicks define the pair. NikeID also released customizable options using the YOTD pattern the same year.
Are these the best pair of KDs ever? Tell us in the comments section below. Complete with a NERF ball and hoop, these limited IV’s continue to be one of the most sought after KD’s on the secondary market.
Similar to the NERFs, the Weatherman KD IV’s will go down as an all-time great concept. Growing up Kevin wanted to be a weatherman; Nike brought his dreams to life with this late 2011 release.
Storytelling was at its peak with the KD IV. The Aunt Pearl IV’s served as Kevin’s more personal contribution to Nike’s Think Pink Breast Cancer Awareness initiative with a direct link to his own aunt.
Leo Chang went in on these. As the name implies these released celebrating KD’s second league scoring title. Crazy 3M detailing throughout literally makes them pop. Isn’t it funny how KD’s hasn’t ever worn these while playing with the Warriors? They only match perfectly.
These right here! These joints right here! Fire. IMO the greatest KD ever created. Nike’s 2011 All-Star pack was galaxy themed and instantly took off with consumers. Themed basketball footwear at it’s finest.