HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — As the Oklahoma City Thunder wrapped up morning shootaround a couple weeks ago in Dallas, Kevin Durant was asked about the one-legged fadeaway he borrowed from Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki and inserted into his own arsenal.
“I wanted to learn it because I’m 6-9 and Dirk used it so much on us in the playoffs and in the regular season,” Durant said.
Durant went on to talk about how if Dirk could master the shot then so could he, and with his length how difficult the shot is to block and this and that. But, I barely heard any of it as I fixated on the first part of his sentence. It bounced around in my brain like Durant splitting the lane with a dribble drive and finishing it off with a tomahawk jam.
“I wanted to learn it because I’m 6-9…
“…because I’m 6-9…”
Wait, Kevin Durant is 6-what?
“How tall is he?” OKC coach Scott Brooks said rhetorically. “Before or after a haircut?”
It says it right here in black-and-white in the Oklahoma City Thunder media guide. And it says it here and in all of the previous Oklahoma City Thunder game notes since Durant’s first game as a rookie with Seattle that he’s 6-feet, 9-inches.
There’s been players who measure darn close to 7-feet tall if not 7-feet tall that have preferred to go by 6-11. But 6-9? Please, it’s insulting.
“Probably 6-11,” said backup point guard Reggie Jackson, who is a legitimate 6-foot-3. “I don’t want to boost his ego too much. He’s not 6-9. I’ll say 6-10 1/2, in shorts.”
In shorts? Huh?
Reserve guard Eric Maynor was the only Thunder to peg Durant at 7-foot, then he looked over at 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet and said of Durant’s mysterious height, “7-3?”
“Six-10,” Thabeet said. “He’s not as tall as me.”
Center Kendrick Perkins looked over at Durant, who was listening to music through his headphones a few stalls down, smiled and said, “6-11,” which would put Durant an inch above Perk’s scowl when face-to-face.
Russell Westbrook agreed with Thabeet: 6-10.
So to review, we have Durant’s official height listed at 6-9 — the one KD perpetuates — and then every inch thereafter up to the full 84.
What other player can span a tape measure like that and induce such heated debate in his own locker room?
OK, coach Brooks, care to give your estimation, before and/or after haircut?
“Six-10,” Brooks said, hardly convincingly. “Ish.”