Kevin Durant, Crazy Legs

Crazy Legs because his legs, like his arms, go on forever. If ever there were an argument to bring short shorts back to the NBA (and I think there are several, but I’ll proceed on the assumption that I have to choose one), it’s Kevin Durant. The man’s a freak, with the grace of a dancer animating the body of that really tall kid who’s still too uncoordinated to play varsity. It’s both comic and haunting, like a stilt-walker or a deep-voiced talking baby in a bad comedy. Imagine how the effect would be enhanced in a tighter, shorter uniform. NBA players are spidery, and none more so than Durant. We have throwback jerseys and shoes. It’s time to do the same with shorts.

Crazy Legs because of what precedes him, and what he’s about to do. ESPN reports that Team USA has cut Durant from its Olympic-qualifying tournament squad. A precocious 18, Durant dropped 22 on America’s finest in an intense scrimmage earlier this month, but still couldn’t earn himself a spot on the roster. The stuff of stardom?

Peep this, from Jeff Chang’s hip-hop history, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop, on the original—B-boy pioneer Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon:

“He and his cousin Lenny had battled two leaders of the original Rock Steady Crew…and lost…they had shown much heart…He was being cheated of his chance to prove himself. He was all of thirteen years old, and he ached for the past. So Crazy Legs embarked on a mission. Like a character in one of the Times Square kung-fu flicks he loved, he traveled through the city to find and challenge every remaining b-boy.”

So shall it be with Durant. I pity the fool who must guard him now, as his boundless talents shall be infused with a renewed tenacity. The man whom Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard called “an assassin” and sportswriter Bill Simmons “a cold-blooded killer” just got a little more dangerous.

Sure, he’s already been dubbed Plastic Man and Durantula, but when NBA stoppers toss and turn, twisted and cocooned in their high-thread-count sheets the night before they play the SuperSonics, it will be one name they think they hear whispered through the open window, from the darkened bathroom, through the static on that clock radio they swear they turned off:

Crazy Legs