Posted October 20, 2013

Thunder’s Kevin Durant: It’s time for Heat’s Dwyane Wade to ‘pass the torch’

Ben Golliver, Dwyane Wade, Houston Rockets, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Top 100 players of 2014

Kevin Durant has had plenty of time and space to reflect upon his comments that James Harden, and not Dwyane Wade, should have been ranked in SI.com’s Top 10 Players of 2014, but he hasn’t changed his mind. If anything, he’s strengthening his rhetoric.

EuroHoops.net unearthed an interview of Durant conducted by Greece’s OTE TV, and the Thunder’s four-time All-Star forward suggests that perhaps Wade’s turn at center stage is over.

“I stand by what I said, Durant said. “A lot of people disagree with me but it is what it is. It’s nothing against D-Wade, he’s a great player, he’s set his mark in the league as one of the best shooting guards ever. But, like I said, I just thought as an older guy it was his time to pass the torch down to the younger guys. Just like somebody did to him, just like somebody did to me, and I’m going to have to do to somebody later on. I just thought it was his time.”

Back in September, The Point Forward unveiled our Top 100 Players of 2014, placing Durant at No. 2, Wade at No. 8 and Harden at No. 11. Durant’s original “Harden over Wade” assessment came in an interview with Cinesport.com soon after the rankings were published.

“I think you’re missing on James Harden,” Durant said. Asked which player his former Thunder teammate should replace, Durant replied, without hesitation: “Dwyane Wade.”

Wade then posted a response to Durant’s statement on his Instagram account.

Dating the note 9/24/13, Wade wrote: “Kevin Durant said James Harden should replace me in the top 10… Note to self: Make him respect your place in history… again … “

In a response to Wade’s response, Durant wrote on Twitter: “Show me, don’t tweet me.”

Harden later said that he felt like he was “for sure” a top-10 NBA player and Durant made a similar “pass the torch” statement in a September interview with SI.com’s Chris Mannix.

While the war of words has mostly been beaten into the ground by this point, Durant’s latest statement — made while the Thunder were in Turkey for a preseason exhibition — is noteworthy because his tune didn’t change after Russell Westbrook was lost for the opening portion of the regular season due to a second knee surgery.

Someone as competitive as Durant clearly isn’t going to do an about-face on such a hot button issue just because his teammate went down to an injury, but taking the exact same tact knowing that he will be leading the Thunder without Westbrook until roughly December is a reflection of just how locked in Durant is this season. It’s also likely a reminder of just how sick he is of watching Wade, LeBron James and the Heat enjoy their perch atop the NBA’s mountain.

As for Wade, 31, this amounts to a nice, second helping of bulletin material. Who you calling an “older guy”?

If this nifty Euro-step during a Saturday preseason win over the Spurs is any indication, Wade’s still got a firm grip on his torch.

Hat tip: HoopsHype

20 comments
dcthemvp
dcthemvp

I think last night showcased wade is easily still a top 10 player. Thanks durant for the extra motivation. Also, I'll admit hardens been impressive so far this year, but again, for everything he does good he's does 2X bad. His turnovers and lack of defense are awful. He's had nearly 20 turnovers in the last 3 games and I've watched him give up on defensive plays allowing his opponents to score on the fast break especially. Wade is still better than harden on both sides of the ball. Wades just getting started too lol y'all are in trouble. Remember, I warned ya.

Mark112
Mark112

When did Durant turn into such a bigmouth punk? He should learn to stop whining about Westbrook and to quit hoisting up bricks from 20 feet out. Who does he think he is, AI?

StacyHutchens
StacyHutchens

I like KD and his game but he certainly is missing the boat on this one. A champ can pass the torch to the new guard but that new guard first have to show they are worthy by BEATING him. Until then shut up and don't ask him to 'pass' you anything..... Earn it!

DAJS6
DAJS6

I thought Durant was one of the more classy players in the league. Him going on about this just makes me think he's an idiot. The more he talks about it the more he looks like an idiot. Like he tweets 'don't tweet me....' and he's the one doing the tweeting. And passing the torch? Neither him or Wade got no torch. That only goes for the best players like Bird and Magic passing it to Jordan. And if there was a torch Kobe still has it.   

wilsonbaird
wilsonbaird

Durant is a looser! The only thing I can think of is that he did not recovered yet from the whip he got in the finals against DW

StevenSteveStevie
StevenSteveStevie

Durant all over harden pee pee.. braj did u forget he isn't on your team any more move on man..hype up your teammates not harden

bambam824
bambam824

The problem with durant's statement is that dwayne never had a torch.

dcthemvp
dcthemvp

I want to know who passed durant a torch?

dcthemvp
dcthemvp

Harden averaged 26 5 6 on 43% shooting as a lone star on a league leading offensive tempo team. Who competed for the ball? Parsons? Wade was a 2nd option, with ray Allen to share mins with, along with tons of talent who need touches too, and that guy lebron who holds the ball 20 out of 24 seconds, still averaged 21 5 5 on 52% shooting and is coming off his 3rd ring. Even while injured wade put incredible numbers in decisive games. 34 points and 6 steals in game 4 of the finals, 25 10 assts in game 5, and 22 10 REB in game 7. If that's what you guys consider old and done you're in for a suprise this season. He's not facing structural damage like kobe, Westbrook, rose, etc. he had bone bruises. The same reason Bynum never suited up for the sixers. What you guys seen was a player who should of sat to heal but wouldn't let his team down and came through when it mattered most. Don't let the numbers fool ya. Wade will spank harden any day yesterday today or tomorrow even on 1 knee. Now put into consideration wade gt the same procedure done before his 08-09 season averaging 30 PTS 8 asts, he's dropped 15 lbs to reduce impact on his knees, and he has been working relentlessly with Tim Grover this summer ( MJs old trainer and the same guy who got wade into prime shape. He's only 31. He's not facing a healing ACL and being projected to be MVP like rose, but instead he's finally rested and healed. Barring any further setbacks wade is going to have a crazy year in effort of keeping lebron around, proving his doubters wrong, and most importantly provin to himself he can maintain at top level competition. He's a cleaner. Something kd, harden, and even lebron know nothing about. Never doubt wade. Never. This is his year, mark my words. Write it down, take a picture, I don't give a f-ck! Flash is back.

Aicyla22
Aicyla22

sorry to break it to you, but kobe passed that torch to lebron quite some time ago 

Eman,MasterOfTheUniverse
Eman,MasterOfTheUniverse

@dcthemvp Or Paul Pierce or any other formerly dominant player.  I don't see any mention of which torch is being passed.  Durant moved into the top ten in the league at somebody's expense.

CJLudwig
CJLudwig

@dcthemvp same here! i want to know who passed him the torch, coz as far as I'm concerned, LeBron James is still the best SF. Maybe he's talking about Melo, who passed the torch of being the 2nd?

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@dcthemvp The problem with old knees that are only *currently* healthy again, is that just about invariably they don't stay healthy for very long.

It happened last year to Wade, and it'll probably happen this year, too.  You're kidding yourself assuming otherwise.

Oh and btw, for every good 'decisive' game Wade had in teh playoffs last year, he had three VERY BAD games.  Can't help but note that you cherry picked your stats there, bud.  The reality apparent to all of us that watched last year's post-season was that James carried Wade on his back for 75% of the playoffs.  *Again*.

We rightly give Allen a lot of credit for saving James' second ring last year, but if Wade wasn't such a liability in more than half of the games in that series the Heat probably wouldn't have actually needed that heroic shot by Allen in Game 6.

StacyHutchens
StacyHutchens

@lolzlolz Yeah, he sucks............... He only won an NBA title last year as the second best player on his team..... Yep! You sure know your basketball, Wade sucks.....smdh....

bren1900
bren1900

@leehwgoc In the 2012 playoffs Wade played pretty well...On a Bad Knee