Kevin Durant is on the Sonics
This is about video games. If you don't like video games, please move on.
When I walked into Righteous Urban BBQ last night, Kevin Durant was playing a prototype of NBA Live 2008 against one of the game's producers. Durant was using the Sonics, featuring a young Kevin Durant. The producer was the Blazers, not yet featuring a young Greg Oden (they haven't had a chance to design him yet). The Sonics won, thanks to Durant's 31 points and six assists. Then they started playing the Bucks and the Hawks, and I lost interest, but I later chatted with the producer, Jeff Antwi.
"He was killing me, and I work on the game all day," Antwi said. "He was using himself a lot, which might be beneficial for him, since his ratings are pretty good right now....But he's a real good player, I've got to give it to him. He knows the game really well. I threw him in the flame, and he doused it."
(For the record, the Durant character can currently be placed on the rosters of Seattle, Portland or Atlanta.)
I asked Durant whether he and Gil had played any vids during their commercial shoot.
"No, we didn't," Durant said. "I guess if he comes today we'll get to play. I heard he's a big gamer, so I'm a big gamer too, so I'm gonna see what he's got."
I asked if he was intimidated a little by that prospect.
"No, nah, not at all," he said. "I think I'm going to win."
He was calm as he said this, with the confidence and bland assuredness of youth. And you started to fear there might be cracks in the Gilbert mystique. These young kids, no respect for their elders, no sense of the talent that's come before them, no hints of fear.
A few minutes later, Durant began playing another producer, this time with television cameras rolling. Again he was the Sonics, facing the Blazers. Gilbert strolled in, wearing jeans and a sweater, just in time for tip-off.
"I just got in the country," he said when someone asked whether he's seen the new ads yet. "I haven't even watched TV yet."
Soon, he was ushered back to his own console, where he immediately began playing as the Wizards, using the Arenas character to take a half-court shot, which went in.
"Man," he said, "this game is real."
Gilbert and the Wizards rolled over some producer who was using the Suns; Gilbert finished with 42 points, 12 assists and lots of advice. "Don't every stop hustling, don't ever stop hustling, don't ever stop hustling Haywood!!!" Gilbert said to digital Brendan as he battled for rebounds. ("Man," I thought, "this game isn't real.")
The only wrinkle came when the controller flew out of his hands and exploded on the ground. Waiters wearing t-shirts that said "The Best Butt in Town" scurried to put the batteries back in the controller.
"It's a habit, thank you," Gilbert said. "Your players need rest, anyway."
I was still trying to figure out why digital DeShawn Stevenson was wearing No. 9, and why Gilbert kept trying to throw alley-oops to digital DeShawn, when Kevin Durant came back for the big throwdown. This entry feels endless, so check back later for the results.
June 27, 2007; 10:44 AM ET
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