Advertisement
Sports

Asking Animals About Kevin Durant, Re-Styling Lithuanian Dunkers, and More: Corbin Smith's Review

In pursuit of the ultimate Kevin Durant Take, we turn the question over to various citizens of the animal world. Also, an image overhaul for the newest Knick.

by Corbin Smith
Jul 7 2016, 5:15pm

Photo by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It has all been said. Kevin Durant is a coward, Kevin Durant is a hero, Kevin Durant has created the next great superteam, Kevin Durant has created a monstrosity that will plunge NBA Labor relations into darkness and chaos and also make the rest of the league the Warriors' bag-holders for the length of his contract.

You've heard all this, and about who deserves what and who doesn't, and honestly it wasn't interesting the first time. Every conceivable take regarding this move has been combed over and explored in the past two days, and the NBA discourse has eaten itself into a stomachache by devouring the nits and fleas off the raggedy coat of Durant's departure.

Read More: The Third-Best LeBron Block of the NBA Finals and More: The Corbin Smith Review of Online Basketball Highlights

All that's left, now, are imaginary angles and broadcasts from the outer orbits of takesmanship. For any new perspectives on Durant, we need to void our minds of all preconception and implication and discover and adopt entirely new frames of mind. After a long and taxing evening of meditation and spirit-channeling, I have achieved this. And so I present to you: takes about Kevin Durant Going to the Warriors from Animals.

Photo by Andreas Ahrens/CC BY 2.0

"A thousand years of evolution has made our noble cohort into telepathic explorers of the deepest oceans. The concerns of basketball players are nominal to us. That being said, the pursuit of higher consciousness is our greatest priority, and we believe that a transcendent expression in any context furthers the cause of pure enlightenment that we seek. Therefore, we believe that improving a Warriors team that was already on the bleeding edge of basketball perfection even more, through the addition of one of the finest players of all time, is a net positive for the development of both basketball and all life on earth. May that team break the confines of their earthly form and unify into a more spiritual, non-corporeal, dolphin-like form in the near future."

Photo byDennis Matheson/CC BY 2.0

"Scavenger and brawlers, we are. We believe in the bare essentials of survival and the glory of the pack. Durant should have stayed in OKC and demanded that his teammates fall in line behind him. If Westbrook resisted, he should have fought him until he fell in line. Dominance over the pack is the only worthy victory. Kobe Bryant is the greatest of all time and my friends and I are prepared to literally eat anyone who disagrees."

Photo byMarie Hale/CC BY 2.0

"The sound of rushing water compels us to build. Ours is a God whose commands we seek to silence. Efficiency and community are very important to us. We reject the form of basketball they play in Oklahoma City, as it is mangled and inefficient and does not support the den or the family unit. If he truly wanted to live in the light of our ways, Kevin would have picked San Antonio, but Golden State is an acceptable second option."

Diagram via Wikimedia Commons

"I do not have self-awareness. To exist and divide is my only prerogative. Kevin Durant should quit basketball entirely and devote himself to mating with as many partners as possible to fulfill biology's only imperative, which is to survive and expand. To do anything less is to deny God and one's own deepest instincts."

Photo by Flickr user flightlog/CC BY 2.0

"WHO IS KEVIN DURANT AND WHY ISN'T HE PLAYING FETCH WITH ME? WHATEVER HE'S DOING, HE SHOULD STOP AND PLAY FETCH WITH ME. THEN HE SHOULD GIVE ME THE DELICIOUS TURKEY SANDWICH HE'S KEEPING IN HIS BAG. THE WARRIORS AND THE THUNDER AND THE CELTICS AND ALL NBA TEAMS SHOULD EXIST ONLY FOR MY PLEASURE, TO FULFILL MY NEVER-ENDING THIRST FOR PLAY AND FOR MEATS. MY GREED KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES, HEDONISM IS THE ONLY WAY TO FULFILLMENT."

Wow, fascinating perspectives from outside the cage of human thought! Anyway, a new Knicks signing demands some closer examination.

MINDAUGAS

Earlier this week, the New York Knicks signed Mindaugas Kuzminskas, a basketball player from Lithuania. We don't know much about him. He most recently played in Spain. He's 6'8". He shot 37 percent from three last season. Like most Lithuanians, he has a brother who played professional basketball. He owns at least two laptops and he's had at least one birthday party for a little dog.

All of which is to say that he's truly an unquantifiable talent at this stage. But we do have video, and in video we can make some rough stabs at answering a much more important question: Can this dude slam it down? Thankfully, we have a mix of his dunks set to a EuroIndie jam. The song has some nice moments, but is overall too busy. The dunks are, in my opinion, pretty solid.

First thing's first: this hair situation is terrible. Cropped short at the sides and left to shrub out up top, our man Mindaugas is out here looking like the world's biggest Youth In A Library. If he's going to catch on in the league, he's going to need to grow out that thing. As it stands now, his drives look like strong straight-line drives, lacking in the nervy jumpiness of most European dribblemen. But if he could manage to get some length, every movement, every motion will be accentuated and made irrational by the trail of beautiful golden waves pouring out of his skull. With the help of modern imaging software, we can see how much dynamism and movement could be added to this dude's game with the help of a mighty wave of curly, dirty blonde locks cascading down his head and over his body.

Fans will cheer, people on the street will talk, a nation of basketball fans will affix themselves in front of their TVs, mesmerized by the subtle to-and-fro of flaxen curls working in concert with the bouncing ball and his bounding strides. A spectacular future will be in store for this young man if he explores the outer limits of personal hair growth, and I state this as FACT.

That's not to say this compilation of dunks is totally without merit in the absence of beautiful hair. Off-brand European Frank Kaminsky gets taken off the dribble at about 1:28, proving that all Frank Kaminskys in all possible Realifranks are doomed to suffer when they have to stop dribble penetration on a switch. There's a pretty dank rolloff dunk at about 2:30, although it's the kind of move that would probably get blotted out by any self-respecting psychotic NBA defender, trained as they have been since birth to foul pretty much anyone they can at the rim.

He also dunks on three guys at the same time:

The fade to black is in honor of their dignity, which died under the weight of that dunk. The ref wasn't signaling a foul—he was pointing to a trash can where they would have to spend the night. European basketball is different from the NBA, as the three-point line is closer and considerations of honor micromanage the lives of the players.

SEVERAL BRIEF DISCURSIONS ON BASEBALL VINES

It's nice that Mike Trout gave away his bat. All the modern teens at the bat-recipient's school make fun of him for being into baseball instead of intersectional feminism or some photo app that no adult will learn about for another 18 months. You can see our teen hero dancing with his own enthusiasm, happy that he got a free bat from his favorite baseball player, but also actively trying to suppress a wild expression of that joy, because he is a teenager and as such believes he is supposed to maintain a respectable exterior in public so that no one can know that he might be happy or sad or feel anything about anything whatsoever. Was Trout being nice, or was he trying to trick this kid into exposing himself as an authentically enthusiastic person in public? You cannot say, as Mike Trout is bland to the point of being completely unreadable.

Not a bad idea, but you gotta spread your legs on takeoff so Evan Gattis can't get a grip on them or you need to keep them completely straight and land perfectly on your ass. The dream of a player exploding baseball as we know it by dominating the basepaths with pure vertical hops still lives, but we have not arrived at that promised land on this day.

My favorite thing about baseball is that the sheer number of at-bats combined with the inherent unpredictability of one round object colliding with another round object at extremely high speeds, over and over, creates a space where we can see hundreds of thousands of permutations of effects all stemming from what is fundamentally the same cause: a bat making contact with a ball. Here is one such unpredictable effect, one of thousands that have been and will be, until that day when the game dissolves forever.

Want to read more stories like this from VICE Sports? Subscribe to our daily newsletter.