Kevin Durant's game-clinching three-pointer over LeBron James in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest moments of his Hall of Fame career, and, as far as ice-in-his-veins moments go, it doesn't get much icier.
Looking back, Durant deems it "the best moment" he's ever had.
“I made the game-winning shot in the Finals against my (expletive) idol," Durant, who this week was named GQ's Champion of the Year, said of James in a recent interviewwith the publication. "Somebody that I really, really, really followed since I was a ninth-grade high schooler. I felt like he was passing the torch to me.”
The rest, as they say, was history.
Durant's Warriors won the game, 118-113, to take a 3-0 series lead.
Two games later, Durant was crowned an NBA champion and Finals MVP and felt the weight of the basketball world — which was growing heavier by the day after his decision to join Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Co. the summer before — lifted off his shoulders.
"That was a '(expletive) you' shot, for sure," Durant told Bleacher Report recently. "To everybody. Especially Paul Pierce. I heard him say, 'I guess he don't want to work no more.' That really struck a nerve when he said that. C'mon, man, I put in work. I know what you were going for, but c'mon. One thing I pride myself on is working out and crafting my skills."
And craft those skills he has.
“(James is) four years older than me, so he's still the big homie. But I'm on the same level as a basketball player," Durant told GQ. "Off the court, I can learn a thing from you. But as a basketball player, I feel like it's 1A, 1B. And that's an accomplishment for me.”