The current Kevin Durant gives encouragement to the former “Kevin Durant” who is emerging from difficult times


Everyone is always looking for “the next”…the next Kobe Bryant, the next Michael Jordan, yeah, the next Kevin Durant. Nets fans would argue there may never be a next KD, not the way he’s going at 34! But others with a broader worldview will point to France and Victor Wimpagneana, the darling of 7’4-inch tankers everywhere.


Not long ago, like two years ago, the “next Kevin Durant” was either Minnesota’s seven-foot-two Chet Holmgren (who’s out for the season) or Michigan’s Emoni Bates, a 6’10” teen with all the prerequisites for a comparable Durant: a tall, skinny scorer. , multi-level with a killer crossover and tight view. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and won the 2020 Gatorade National Boys Basketball Award,

There were videos on YouTube comparing one’s moves to another’s…

But it didn’t work out that way. He was outshone by Holmgren in the eyes of scouts in comparisons of the “next two”. Then, after landing in Memphis as the youngest player in NCAA Division 1, things went south. With a promising season turning tough, Benny Hardaway moved to the Petes for point guard and struggled. He and Hardaway did not get along. Then he injured his finger and lower back. Finally, three months ago, after being transferred to Eastern Michigan near his home, he was arrested on a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. All of this is a long way to say, Emoni Bates still needs all the help he can get.

Perhaps this was the low point. In the past two weeks he has been brought back to EMU Eagles playing well, his gun charge has been reduced with a guilty plea plus probation. His record could even be erased if he had no further problems.

Enter Kevin Durant, not “The Next,” but a hyper-modern Kevin Durant, like Vince Goodwill of Yahoo! Sports and the Detroit native, wrote on Tuesday, KD and Kyrie Irving met up with Bates under the stands at Little Caesars’ Arena after a Nets-Pistons thriller Sunday night. It was a way to encourage Bates as he tries to find his way again.

“I love that he’s going the exact opposite path in life,” Durant told Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill. “Leaving school early, from Memphis, arrested. I went through some s***. You have to go through some things in this life to really understand where you are.

“He’s playing good ball now. He’s been through some shit. He’s a little more affected.”

Durant didn’t go into specifics of what he may have said to Bates who was with his dad at the get-together, but KD thinks being home, surrounded by family and friends, can be a huge help.

“He’s home. He has a support system,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “It can be worse when you’re away from home, and you don’t have that influence around you, and you’re running after some other guys. It’s good to see him swinging now.”

In photos taken of the meeting, Bates is beaming, perhaps distraught, as he poses among the Nets stars with his dad…

Despite what seems like a very long way to go, Emoni Bates is still only 18 years old. He will be 19 years old NBA Draft In June but so far, he has not been listed as a first rounder… having been ranked first or second after graduating from high school. There’s no predicting where he’ll be after finishing this season in Eastern Michigan, but the Nets have it right now 76ers The first rounder and second rounder are probably about 50 years old. And as we know, both Durant and Irving have given their opinions on draft picks before. Right Cam Thomas?

No matter where it ends, Bates – Like everyone else He will have a hard time keeping his promise to be the ‘next Kevin Durant’ but now knows that the current Kevin Durant is rooting for him.

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