NBA prospect Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State was worthy of more than a few looks because of his obvious talent and how he opted for another year owning opponents in college. So does he need the Kevin Durant co-sign? No, but it sure as hell helps if he's planing on entering the deep 2014 Draft class.
Durant was in attendance for Oklahoma State's game against Memphis on Tuesday, where he saw Smart shoot a career-high 39 points. Getting that 101-80 victory was one thing, but for Smart, getting a shoutout from a world class player like Durant is a victory in itself. "Marcus can play in the league right now. Definitely," he said.
The performance wasn't a coincidence. Smart said he saw Durant in the audience, and the team wanted to put on a show for him. Of course Durant isn't a scout, but extra publicity wouldn't hurt. So unless this is some sort of insidious plot by Durant to hype up Smart and have him enter the NBA Draft, somehow pull strings to place him in one of the competing teams in the West, and take advantage of that team with him as a starter after studying his weaknesses, this is a pretty good look. Plus, that would be absurd and Durant is a nice guy.