Bol Bol Beginning To Shine In Orlando And The Promise Of Victor Wembanyama; This Is Kevin Durant’s Legacy

Bol Bol, Victor Wembanyama, Kevin Durant's influence
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Bol Bol is starting to shine with the Orlando Magic. For the first time in his young NBA career the 7-foot-2 center is healthy and showing why scouts were so enamored with his skill set. Across the Atlantic Ocean in France, 18-year-old 7-foot-4 Victor Wembanyama is leading the French basketball league in points, rebounds, and blocks; routinely posting 30-point triple doubles and reigning threes from deep. This is the future of pro hoops, seven-foot tall phenoms that can do everything on the floor. This is the legacy of Kevin Durant.

Bol Bol And Victor Wembanyama Carry On Legacy Of Kevin Durant

In 2007 the then-6’10 (now 7’0, though he loves to deny it) Durant was a skinny beanpole weighing in at 215 pounds. He famously was one of the only NBA draftees who couldn’t bench press 185 pounds. The knock on Durant was he’s too skinny and weak and he would get bullied by grown men in the league.

Many so-called pundits and experts said he had to put on weight and bulk up like LeBron James in order to reach his full potential. But a trainer by the name of Justin Zormelo thought otherwise.

Durant’s strength was his elite guard-like ability to dribble and move in the body of a “big man.” They resisted the urge to bulk him up.

Fifteen seasons later he’s one of the greatest players of all-time. Still slender at age 34 and up to about 240 pounds but nimble and taking advantage of those gifts.

It’s impossible for Durant not to see his imprint on the game in players like Bol and Wembanyama.

Durant’s Nets played Bol’s Magic on Monday night and Durant was impressed. The two matched up on a few possessions and Bol finished with 24 points and six rebounds, including three of six from deep.

“He’s unique. He’s tough to deal with. You see his confidence growing by the game. He can pretty much do everything on the basketball court. So he just needs more reps. The last few years he’s been in and out of the lineup, hurt, G League stints. But I love what Jamahl [Mosley] is doing over there, putting him at the point sometimes, playing him at the 5. Just moving him around because he’s such a versatile player. It’s great for the league. I think you’ll start to see him continue to be more and more of an impact player as times goes on. So he’s playing well this year.”

This Is The NBA Future Kevin Durant Created

This is the future Durant has created. Much like Stephen Curry has re-imagined the geometry of the basketball court with his deep volume three-point shooting and accuracy, so too has Durant about what is possible for a seven footer.

The way players like Bol and Wembanyama move is because they aren’t big plodding centers.

In years past anyone over 6 feet 9 would be told to bulk up and live in the paint. Use height and strength to dominate the game.

Today tall players have elite guard skills. Being fluid and nimble out on the perimeter allows them to use their height in a different way.

Dirk Nowitzki And Kevin Durant Changed The Game For Future 7-Footers

Dirk Nowitzki was the first seven-footer to exploit his size for volume perimeter shooting. But he didn’t have Durant’s handle. The dribble is what separates KD and makes him elite and one of the greatest. He can use that the dribble to get to his spot and elevate. A KD off-the-dribble pull-up from anywhere is an excellent shot.

Victor Wembanyama Will Be No. 1 Pick In 2023 NBA Draft 

Wembanyama is expected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, and franchises are salivating over the possibilities. KD couldn’t help but smile when talking about Wembanyama recently.

“That type of talent and skill…. it just puts a smile on your face if you play basketball, you know? The evolution of the game has taken us this far when we’ve got 7-foot-5 dudes able to do everything on the court,” said Durant. “The league’s really in trouble when he comes in.”

Kevin Durant Is The Original Unicorn 

Durant’s accolades make him an all-time great, despite what talking head shows and barbershop pundits believe. Two-time champion, two-time Finals MVP, league MVP, 12-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA, four-time scoring champ, three-time gold medalist, and rookie of the year.

But his legacy may very well be changing the vision of what is possible for a seven-footer on a basketball court.