Starting Lineups: Go Support The Backpack Baller - Kevin Durant's First 25 Years In 250 Pages

TheBackpackBaller_BookTeaserYou know you've done something with your life when you're playing basketball in Madison Square Garden on Christmas Day, and you're the marquee attraction for all to come and see. This was the life of Kevin Durant yesterday, a man who led his comrades into battle with the fledgling New York Knicks and proceeded to decimate a lifeless Knickerbocker squad into submission. The 123-94 score doesn't fairly represent the end status of the game for Durant, as his usually prolific scoring ability was paused by the fact that his team had blown its opposition away. We'd have to be okay with the 29 points he'd tally in 3 quarters, because there would be no need to play in the fourth.

(Oh, here's a fun stat from Daily Thunder: Wanna know KD’s Christmas numbers in his career? 34.0 points on 60.5 percent shooting, 57.0 percent from 3, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Yeah, KD's pretty good at basketball.)

Here's the thing. I love Kevin Durant and I'm 135% sure that I take this man's talent for granted every single day. He always plays hard, he always produces he always has a shaky hairline/haircut to remind us all that he's human and he always kisses his mama and points up to God to remind us all that he's a great human. Then I found out that my Australian brother from another mother Brad Graham had decided to produce a 250-page book about the one and only Kevin Wayne Durant. Amen.

The Backpack Baller: The Fantastical Basketball Voyage of Kevin Durant will be a 250 page magnum opus taking a forensic and satellite view of K.D's on-court conquests as well as his off-court challenges.

The book will explore his devotion, brilliance and cultural standing, and much like the player on which it's based, The Backpack Baller is non-traditional. Neatly broken up into a series of essays, magazine-style features and interviews with Durant himself, the book will cover everything K.D has touched over his first 25 years.

During the early stages of research, the book's author, Brad Graham, planned to write a sprawling 5000 word magazine article but after conversing with a collection of renowned reporters, international fans, Durant's childhood friends who now play pro, his teammates, competitors, retired greats of the game and of course, the man himself, Brad realised there was more than enough content to craft a compelling book - and with his background in graphic design, he was just the man to take on such an ambitious project.

Kudos to the homie Brad for this, as this piece promises to be an artful mash-up of long-form journalism, graphic design exposition and stat geekery. An independent, self-published and crowd-funded book for the people? Awesomeness. It's funny how people can inspire you to do great things. This is a great thing.

Be sure to go visit The Backpack Baller KickStarter page and make a pledge (you might be cited in the credits of the book!) and also be sure to follow the book's blog for more updates.

Here are your morning links for the day after Christmas. I'm tired ... I'm going to re-read our Christmas Day open thread from last night and go play with my cool gifts that my mama put under the trade for me. Amen.

Kitna to give his Cowboys paycheck to high school -- CBS Sports

 How to Return Nearly Anything Without a Receipt -- Lifehacker

The Amazing MLB Payroll Graphic Gets An Update -- Deadspin

‘Draft Day’ Looks Like Ivan Reitman’s Football Answer To ‘Moneyball’ -- Film Drunk

Polls Show Wide Range of Opinions on Next-Gen Launch Sports Games -- Pasta Padre

Why I'm Against 'Daddy Days' -- The Atlantic

Young Auburn Fan Surprised With BCS Tickets for Christmas, Acts Accordingly -- Extra Mustard

Kanye’s adidas Plans: 20 Sneakers, Men’s And Women’s Clothing And A September Launch -- Smoking Section

 Hulk Hogan Has Air Jordan "Gamma Blue" XIs, Brother -- Complex

The 10 Best American Martial-Arts Movies -- Esquire

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