A confession: I can’t quit KD.
I know many of you hate me because I think Baker is kinda great, at least for the role he’s supposed to play as the supervillain of my favorite team’s favorite rival.
More of you hate me because I say rational, logical things about Mike Gundy that make you Very Mad Online.
And now more of you will find fuel to pour on the fire because of my confession off the top. Heck, our other writers even think I’m a clown, but I don’t care.
I get it, too. I get the burner accounts and the leaving OKC and the leaving Golden State and all the ridiculous, immature stuff he’s done. But I also know what I watched in 2007, and what I watched in 2007 was somebody who was more preternaturally and singularly gifted than maybe anyone else I’ve ever seen do anything in person.
The peak of KD’s collegiate powers probably came in later in his freshman year when he had 25 in the first half in Allen Fieldhouse, and I thought I might stroke out. But his most famous college game — at least in the circles I run in! — was that 3OT tussle in the old wrestling hall on January 16, 2007.
Oklahoma State came in as the No. 12 team in the country. They had started the year 15-1 and risen to No. 9 in the country before getting waxed in Lawrence by 30 the weekend before KD visited. It was the first crack in a foundation that would soon crumble as the Pokes lost eight of their last 11 including a home NIT game to … Marist.
No. 21 Texas was coming to Stillwater having won five straight and 13 of 16 to open the year. The two teams were a combined 28-4, and they would play like it.
The night started just like it would end: With KD and Mario Boggan squaring off. I’m going to walk through the entire game, break this thing into four or five parts and re-live what was one of the great nights in GIA history.
• As an aside, how in the world was THIS broadcast just 12 years ago? It looks like it was in 1974 and being streamed through a server on the moon! Look at this!
• Starting five for Texas: Durant-Augustin-James-Mason-Abrams
• Starting five for OSU: Boggan-Curry-Eaton-Dove-Harris
• Four players from that Texas team reached the NBA. Just two from OSU’s did.
• If Marcus Smart was my least favorite star player in OSU history, Byron Eaton was a close second. But man, he was super underrated defensively (so was Smart). Maybe I just hate defense.
• Who knew this would be the first of several hundred games an elite shooter named Curry and an all-timer named Durant would play together? A thing I believe: If JamesOn was 4 inches taller, he would have had a 10-year NBA career. May have been born 10 years too early. Who knows.
• Hunziker and Dirato wondering where Kenny Cooper is after KD scores early. Guys … not sure that’s going to matter, my guys.
• Early Tyler Hatch sighting. Do you think Tyler Hatch will tell his grandkids about the time he slayed KD in GIA? I would.
• JamesOn just found Boggan on a fast break for a dunk to make it 11-10 Texas and followed it up with a filthy drive through three guys and then a transition pull-up from the free throw line. I would give percentages of equity in this site for a JamesOn in 2019. Oh, wait, I might not have to.
• There are so few fouls and stoppages in this game so far (a thing nobody has typed about any basketball game in the last five years).
• I FORGOT ABOUT CONNOR ATCHLEY I WANT TO WATCH EVERY OLD OSU GAME AND LIVE BLOG THEM ALL.
It’s 17-14 at the 12-minute mark, and we’ll pick up part two tomorrow.