When Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors after losing to them in the 2016 NBA Finals the league was fundamentally changed. Much like Thanos from Marvel’s Infinity War, it was all over with the snap of a (metaphorical in this case) finger. Now every team not named the Warriors is in an arms race – doing whatever they can to mimic the GSW blueprint that has worked sooo well. Unfortunately there’s only one Kevin Durant and the offensive firepower he provides is truly one-of-a-kind.
We’ve been seeing a lot of posts on Instagram recently comparing KD with Kobe that argue KD shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence as Kobe when it comes to scoring. The “who’s better” deserves its own conversation but we also consider belittling KD’s offensive abilities too mean spirited. KD will never score 81-points in a game like Bryant did, but Kobe never had a 50-40-90 season (a season when shooting percentages in overall field goals, free throws and 3-point attempts exceed 50%, 40% and 90% respectively; has only been achieved by 5 players, KD being one of them). Kobe was blessed with more ‘mental fortitude’ and grit than Kevin but Kevin has unworldly unique physical abilities and attributes.
How do you make a Kevin Durant? Well you miraculously combine:
- The length of DeAndre Jordan
- The shooting ability of Ray Allen
- The shot consistency and creativity of Larry Bird
- The work ethic of Kobe Bryant
When he first entered the league KD was compared to George Gervin but as time has passed that’s no longer an accurate comparison. We look at KD’s game as the next evolutionary step of what Dirk Nowitizi popularized and perfected – efficient, unblockable, creative offensive play. How many (borderline) 7-foot tall hoopers can bring down a rebound, push pace in transition, hit his defender with a shimmy crossover from 3 and take one step into a thunderous dunk? Answer: no one, ever. KD’s creativity with the basketball paired with insane length really separates him from the other great scorers because he can take (and make) ludicrously difficult shots that someone smaller couldn’t make without getting blocked – it’s extremely special.
Nike banked on KD being special, the brand signed Kevin before his rookie year and the relationship couldn’t have panned out better. With model number 11’s release earlier this summer we now have over a decade of KD kicks. With that said, lets take a look back at our top-5 KD kicks of all-time. This list will be colorway specific; our rules are that the shoes must have reached consumers – no PEs or samples and only one colorway per model. Tell us if you agree in the comments below and on our IG!
KD 3 Scoring Champ, 2011
If we’re going to spend sooo much time talking about KD’s scoring then we had to start the list off with a model dedicated to just that, scoring! The pearly white were extremely limited and only released at select Nike stores across the country. In true KD fashion the side panels of the KD 3 have encrypted messages like his ppg, jersey number, nods to hometown landmarks and his family. With hints of orange and blue, the Scoring Champs retain elements of his OKC uniform. The KD 3 released forever ago but sneakerheads haven’t forgotten about the affordable performer’s great looks and low price tag (at the point the KD line was still below the $100 price point). Above all, these are just too clean.
KD 10 Finals, 2017
We chose this colorway of the KD 10 for a couple reasons. 1) The navy and gold combination looks regal AF. 2) The insoles take all the negative energy around KD’s decision to join the Warriors and spins it into something powerful. 3) The shoe itself is a performance workhorse and extremely comfortable. 4) “Just win, baby.”
KD 6 What The KD, 2014
In 2018 the “What The ___” theme is played out, but in 2014 it was one of the hottest aesthetic choices a should could make. The KD 6 isn’t the first “What The KD” (there was the unreleased 4 and the hyper hyper limited KD 5 “What The”) but it does the best job at combining the various elements of each KD 6. The PB&J Swoosh, Flannel EXT, Liger, Texas and so many other (patterns) are mixed so outrageously that it makes the shoes work overall – so ugly their beautiful type situation. They look great on court and on the streets, which is something not every KD has been able to accomplish.
KD 4 Galaxy, 2012
Ranking our number 1 and number 2 picks was extremely difficult because each has a special place in our (Robbie’s) heart. The KD 4 had to be top-2 because of it’s versatility, design, price tag and memorable moments. Durant went to his first NBA Finals and won another Scoring Title while wearing his fourth signature shoe. The Galaxy KD 4 serves as Kevin’s contribution to Nike’s 2012 All-Star pack; many view this collection as the best sets of shoes released in the last 10 years (he also won All-Star game MVP in these kicks). Inspiration is obvious when you see the kicks. They look like a space shuttle with a galaxy print sockliner, starry midsole, glow-in-the-dark outsole and 3M reflective uppers. The execution was so good that it landed the KD 4 Galaxy at our number 2 spot.
KD 2 Creamsicle, 2009
The Creamsicles edge out the Galaxy 4’s because the colorway is the most KD of all. When a sneakerhead sees any basketball shoe in primarily hot orange and blue then they instantly think of Durant; they’re such a clever play on the OKC Thunder team colors and obnoxiously bright. What many don’t know is that 3M covers the entire upper for flashes of color with every step. The Creamsicle colorway has been replicated on the KD 4, 5 and 6 too. Designer Leo Chang when in on these, and its with his inventiveness that the KD 4 Creamsicle takes our top spot!