By Justin Neely
When the NBA announced its slate of 75 all-time great basketball players this month, anyone betting against Kevin Durant making the cut would doubtless also like the Washington Generals' odds of taking the Globetrotters this fall. Durant's 14 seasons in professional basketball haven't lacked controversy, but no one has ever doubted KD's transcendent skills or his desire to win. Ball don't lie and neither do these stats.
Durant's got SWAGGER, and on the court he can't be denied. But how are his storytelling skills? We're about to find out.
Starting October 29 Durant changes positions with the debut of Swagger, a new basketball drama streaming on Apple TV+. As an executive producer, he joins another star team, including CBS Studios, to dramatize his journey from standout prospect to global superstar.
Peep The Trailer
Swagger's cast includes O'Shea Jackson Jr. (as a youth basketball coach), Isaiah Hill (as Jace Carson, basketball phenom), and Shinelle Azoroh (as Jace's mom, a proxy for the loving force of nature known as Wanda, Durant's mom). The fictionalized life story will explore all the work that goes into making it to the most elite levels in sport and offers an insider perspective on AAU (American Athletic Union) ball, a national youth program that serves as a pipeline to the NBA for the majority of top U.S.-based players.
You won't miss the thrills of on-court action in this series, but because Swagger is a story based on KD's life, not a documentary, you won't actually see Durant's hooping magic. Don't worry—we've got you covered.
Scroll on for a curated collection of Kevin Durant's finest (and sometimes hardest) moments.
Boo! (The Halloween Kind)
Let's start at the beginning. Well, Swagger explores the early teen years, but Durant's NBA debut on Halloween 2007 packs some excitement, too.
On a poor shooting night by percentage, KD still put up 18 points and pulled down 5 rebounds. He didn't have an easy job that night, as a couple of the other names from the NBA's 75 greatest players list were starting for Denver: Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson.
ESPN quoted Durant on the defeat: "'I've been playing this all of my life,' the rookie out of Texas said. 'I reminded myself to go out and have fun. I had fun.'"
Time To Be An MVP
The Sonics left Seattle, breaking many hearts, but Kevin Durant truly arrived in the OKC blues that came with the move. On a Thunder team that had let go of James Harden, Kevin Durant's individual talent seemed to know no limits. Here are 10 highlights from his first MVP season.
Hold Back The Tears
That first MVP was the catalyst for one of the greatest highlights of Kevin Durant's career: the acceptance speech. Not since Brian's Song have grown sports fans had to work so hard to hold back the waterworks.
Watch a humble young man tearfully thank his mother for his success. It's a perfect refresher before seeing Swagger's version of the tale.
Warriors! Come Out To Play!
The move to Golden State cast Kevin Durant in the role of villain for some, but even the haters had to marvel at his amazing work on the court. With two NBA Championships and two finals MVPs to show for his time with the Warriors, Kevin Durant's move shouldn't be second-guessed by anyone.
Clash Of The Titans
With Kevin Durant joining the dynastic battle between the Warriors and LeBron James' Cavaliers, fans were treated to a head-to-head showdown of the era's greatest talents. GOATs butting heads, you might say. And we got to enjoy every moment.
Victory Is Sweet, Even With A Hangover
It's hard not be hung up on 2017 and that first NBA Championship. This James Corden FaceTime interview offers fans a surprisingly candid peek inside the mind of an MVP the day after he reached the pinnacle of success in the game.
Back To The Future
Let's face it. There aren't many NBA preseason games that are worth a first watch, never mind a second. But seeing Kevin Durant put on a show for one of the great NBA fan bases bereft of an iconic franchise is that rare gem of a game.
Carry The Weight
Kevin Durant is now an all-time great member of the Brooklyn Nets roster. That hasn't meant a trophy, but he has shown the league and the world that he can put a team on his back and carry it to victory in battle, even if the war can't be won without a team.
His 49 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks are one of the greatest stat lines ever recorded for a playoff game. If you can't win it all in a given year, this is an impressive way to build on your legacy.
What Dreams May Come
Kevin Durant knows his shot is money, wherever the hoop is hanging.Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash
Kevin Durant has shown that an Achilles tear won't stop his dominance. But will he hoist another championship trophy now that he's in Brooklyn? Or is there yet another destination waiting before he packs it in?
The future remains unwritten for Kevin Durant, but with the debut of Swagger, we all have a chance to better understand his past. Expect to be impressed.
Tune In To Swagger
Isaiah Hill as Jace in a promotional shot for Swagger
The first three episodes of Swagger are available to stream on Apple TV+ starting October 29. One new episode will air each week through December 17.