Kevin Durant did everything he could for the Nets in Game 7 agains the Bucks. One of the greatest individual performances in a playoff series in recent memory, Durant finished the final game with 48 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. With James Harden banged up, and Kyrie Irving out, he put the weight on his shoulders and almost prevailed.
However, one moment from the game is lingering. It appeared that Durant had sent the Nets to the conference finals with a game-winning three at the end of regulation with his team down two. After review, it was determined his foot was on the line.
The Bucks would go on to win in overtime and end the Nets’ season sooner than anyone expected.
After the game KD blamed his “big ass feet” on not getting all the way behind the arc and burying the game-winner. A little harsh considering without Durant’s heroics the Nets would have been blown out, but interesting nonetheless.
"My big ass foot stepped on the line. I just seen the little screenshot, how close I was to ending they season off that shot, but it wasn't in God's plan."— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 20, 2021
KD on his final shot in regulation: pic.twitter.com/7wnBEUkB8G
After the game, Royce Young of ESPN found a story from 2018 and goodness is it weird. Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight explored Durant’s recurring problem of having his shoes fall off during games, and it was illuminating.
And so to achieve that featherweight feeling, Durant wears a size-18 while on the court — one full size bigger than what he wears when in casual settings.
“These are like slippers, man, and I just try to be as efficient as I can when I create what I want out there. I don’t want something that’s too bulky. So, sometimes they may come off, but the good thing is, I can slip them back on and keep playing.”
Perhaps it wasn’t Durant’s “big ass feet” that caused the Nets to lose, but his clown ass shoes?
Shoe shopping is one of the first real times you learn about clothing sizes as a kid. You go to the store, get your foot put in that weird metal, medieval torture device thing to make sure it’ll fit, then if you’re like my mom, find a pair that offers one toe-knuckle worth of wiggle room to grow into, because we were poor and shoes were too damn expensive.
When you’re an adult that goes away. Generally you buy shoes that fit your feet, unless you find such an extreme bargain on closeout you sacrifice comfort. Shout out the $24.99 pair of Adidas soccer cleats I found at a Ross Dress for Less that gave me blisters my entire rec-league season because they were two sizes too big.
I think you get what I’m saying here: We buy shoes that fit us. It’s not exactly rocket science. KD does not prescribe to this belief, though.
It might be a little presumptuous to blame Durant’s giant shoes on the shot, and doing so also assumes he doesn’t naturally play better in bigger shoes out of comfort. But it’s still wild.
In a sport as technologically advanced, with every iota of the game being measured and scrutinized, here’s one of the league’s biggest stars wearing shoes that are too big for him. It flies in the face of every bit of logic we know about athletic wear, and there’s also something kind of beautiful about that. Here we have billion dollar companies agonizing over getting the perfect fit for athletes, with the right about of support, and decreasing the chance of injury as much as possible — and Kevin Durant is wearing large shoes that feel like slippers.
As complicated as sports can be, it’s fun for the simple things to be the weirdest.