The future of the NBA

Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 4:37 p.m.

Nets Kiki Vandeweghe wasn't a bad player. He averaged 19.7 points over his 13-year career.

So when he talks about player people should listen. And he had nothing but great things to say about third-year forward Kevin Durant after the Nets 105-89 loss to the Thunder on Monday night.

"He really knows how to play basketball. He's 6-9 and very long. So he's more like 6-11," Vandeweghe said. "He's really a good shooter and he's very quick. He can take it to the basket. All of that combined, he reminds me of George Gervin when I was playing."

George Gervin? That's a high compliment. Gervin was one of the smoothest players to ever suit up.

"When he has it going, what happens is if you come off and help he can find other people," Vandeweghe added. "He can win a game all by himself."

That's another high compliment coming from a two-time all-star who at times was a scoring machine.

Vandeweghe wasn't the only one impressed with Durant. Nets backup point guard Rafer Alston said Durant was "fantastic". "We should've made him more of a passer," Alston said. "He only had two assists. We have to make him give it up. He was terrific."

Durant was humbled by the win and shifted the praise to his teammates.

"I was so pleased with how we played in the fourth quarter," Durant said. "No matter if I had 40 or not we played so hard in the fourth and limited their touches."

Humility isn't something we see much these days.

"I thank my teammates for trusting in me to make shots and passing me the ball," he added. "It was all on them."

The Thunder improved to 16-14 with the win. They probably won't make the playoffs, but the building blocks are there. Jeff Green, James Harden and Russell Westbrook are a great start. If Oklahoma City can get its hands on a power player to team with Durant, look out.

Having another dominant wing player to go at it with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony is just what the doctor ordered in the NBA. And to have him starring for a team in the midwest is even more impressive. Spreading the wealth is the only way to keep the country interested.