Bol Bol, the son of 7-foot-7 NBA center Manute Bol, has had his latest highlight tape go viral, each reaching the point where TMZ is posting them.
I guess that’s when you know you’ve made it?
This has a familiar feel to it. Since Bol is 7-feet tall, he can dribble the ball a little bit and he can make some shots from the perimeter, he is immediately being compared to Kevin Durant.
Which is utter insanity.
The same way that it was crazy for people to compare Thon Maker to Kevin Durant. Putting the name “Kevin Durant” into a comparison immediately draws the attention of everyone, even if the comparison really doesn’t make any sense. Durant is a shooting guard that stands 7-feet tall and he just may be the best shooter in the NBA not named Stephen Curry. He’s a freak of nature, a generational talent and a player with a skill-set that is not replicable.
There is no “next Kevin Durant”. Comparing anyone to him makes you sound foolish, because the only fair comparison is to say “this player is not going to be as good as Kevin Durant.”
Bol Bol is a nice prospect. He’s a top 15 player in the Class of 2018, a class that some recruiting experts think will be worse than the Class of 2015. If you’ve forgotten, the Class of 2015 — the crop of kids that were picked in the 2016 NBA Draft — were so down that it actually had smart people trying to say that American basketball has fallen off. (I don’t get it. I really don’t.)
So if you don’t know what you’re talking about, please don’t say things like this. People believe everything they read on the internet even if it comes from a dubious source, and putting these kind of undue expectations on a high school junior is, at best, silly and, at worst, detrimental.
If you play a second in the NBA, you’re one of the 500 best basketball players in the world. If you are a lottery pick, you are an insanely talented basketball player that will make a life-changing amount of money even if you never sign another contract.
Calling him the next Kevin Durant ensures that he will be a failure, because he’s almost certainly never going to be the next Durant. And that’s a shame, because simply earning a college scholarship and getting drafted into the NBA makes you a success story.