If you have a pulse and love sports, by now you’ve heard that Kevin Durant played in a basketball game at the famed Rucker Park in Harlem where he scored 66 points, electrified the crowd, and became an instant legend. Seeing a pro step off the varnished parquet floors of the NBA and on to the concrete courts of New York City is special. Seeing them dominate, get all the love in the world, and join the ranks of Rucker Park legends? Well, that’s just really rare.
Most of the pros aren’t ever going to play at Rucker. Why should they? Talent-wise, quite frankly, it’s beneath them. Stature-wise it can’t compare to the NBA, or even European league. And the pay for these “amateur” Summer teams certainly isn’t much of a draw. It’s something else. It’s the drive to play. Anywhere.
Now there is the chance that some no-name guy will just have your number out there too, so the risk of being embarrassed is real. Fouls are called, or not called, for different reasons, and fans can literally run onto the court and touch you. Kobe Bryant would probably have a freaking heart attack. Shaq would probably love it. But most NBA guys just wouldn’t do it. That is not to say others have not done this before. And that others will not do this again.
But Kevin Durant did it. And he did it extremely well. His stature in NYC is forever elevated, and amongst basketball die-hards both he and this moment will be a topic of conversation for years, if not decades. Don’t believe me? Ok, watch this little snippet. 12 points on 4 shots in under 2 minutes is tough no matter what:
Now that you’ve seen that, you know what I’m talking about. Rucker was and is special. KD was special in a special place. Sheer awesomeness.
Now who is going to be that guy for lacrosse? Who, in the next year, is going to leave the MLL, or LXM, and dedicate themselves to hitting EVERY SINGLE big lax tourney on the face of the planet? And who is going to DOMINATE? Because simply winning isn’t enough. I want to see a guy go out and be a GB vacuum. I want the guy to score goals, drop assists left and right and ride like a mad man (if they are on attack). I want to see a guy, who is clearly better than anyone else out there, go out and prove it. Tourney after tourney. And all just like KD. Embrace the fans. Be an ambassador for the game. For yourself.
But there is another part to this story… the guy can’t just jump on ELITE teams and dominate. He has to do it on average teams, while not being surrounded by other top flight players. So he’ll have to be a giver, and a scrapper, and a total team player. He’ll have to be in shape, be tough, and be able to absolutely take over a game. I know, you’re all thinking “Paul Rabil”. Ain’t gonna happen. He is the face of the MLL a la Kobe or LeBron. And you KNOW those guys aren’t hitting Rucker.
I think a guy like Peet Poillon could pull it off, and so could Matt Abbott. Another guy that I could see digging the tourney circuit would be Brendan Mundorf because he could avoid all the partying pitfalls, and just stick to dominating on the lax field. Of all the guys who are already not playing in the MLL, I think Kyle Harrison or Shamel Bratton could do damage, but Kyle has so much going on, and Shamel just doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would play for a team with “average” teammates.
So who is the Kevin Durant of Lacrosse? Who could step on over to the Summer Club tourney scene and dominate like KD? Where would they have to play? What’s our list of tourneys that simply MUST be hit. Vail, Placid, Tahoe, Ocean City are all MUSTS, but what else is on the list?
To spice things up a bit, the best comment wins an Evo3 Lacrosse Head from Warrior! So get to commenting!