When you're internationally identified by your initials, and something just short of seven feet tall, you can never be invisible.
Say this for Durant on Tuesday:
He wasn't invisible.
We saw him.
We saw the Durant we've come to know, even on a night when his new team played collectively -- and especially defensively -- nothing like we expected, getting thrashed by the Spurs, 129-100.
We saw all the familiar mannerisms, from the mouthpiece-gnawing to the noggin-shaking to the fist-clenching to the low-key-not-so-nice-guy sneering, such as when he swatted David Lee's shot back to Gainesville. More notably, we saw all the uncommon skills, the guard-like mobility, the dribbling dexterity, the bounce-passing precision (even when Draymond Green flubbed the finish), and the mental acuity to identify mismatches, such as when poor Tony Parker switched out to him at the high post and he immediately rose and released.
And, in the end, we saw the sort of sublime stat line that only the extraordinary can render ordinary: 27 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks, all while converting 11 of 18 field goals. He did all of this without a turnover, which did represent the extreme anomaly, but more on that in a few moments.
Before going forward, we should go back a little more than a few minutes to remember something that Dwyane Wade said when the Heat's Big Three looked ragged in their first foray together in Boston, back in 2010.
"This is one of 82," Wade said then.
"It's one of 82," Durant told reporters after Tuesday's loss.
It was, indeed, one of 82, and hopefully a whole lot more come May and June, and the comfort will come. Those Heat teams had to stiffen their defense until they figured out how to stop taking turns on offense. Eventually, they were taking ring measurements. Twice. That's where the Warriors need to start too, and do so even with some of the pieces altered from last season, with Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli elsewhere.
There wasn't anything of concern Tuesday.
Certainly not from Durant.
Was it entirely his night? No. One sequence summed it up, with the Warriors already down a dozen in the second quarter. First, he was short on a three-pointer from the right wing. LaMarcus Aldridge followed with a spectacular six-dribble fallaway over Green. After slapping the ball to himself and inbounding to Stephen Curry, he flashed open at the key, then darted toward the block, but was merely a decoy.
The ball, instead, landed in Andre Iguodala's hands in the right corner. After Iguodala missed, Durant scampered back, contesting Kawhi Leonard's layup only to lose handle of the rebound, with Leonard regaining possession and scoring two of his 35.
That didn't count as a turnover, and Durant finished without any, after committing at least one in all 90 games he played for the Thunder last regular season and postseason. In one game alone, he had 10. But this is where we are with him, now that he's the newest narrative petri dish: even that last stat can be twisted into something toxic. Was he too tentative? Trying too hard to fit in? Not being put in position to make as many plays? Kept from doing more?
Here's that caveat again about drawing too many conclusions from one contest -- the sample size is less reliable than polling payphone users to predict a presidential election.
But if you want your quarter's worth, here is what SportVU's cameras captured in Tuesday's four quarters: Durant had 63 touches, just two fewer than he got on average last season with Oklahoma City. Forty of those were in the front court, 13 fewer than last season's average with the Thunder. His average time per touch was two seconds, down from 3.13.
So no, Durant didn't get the ball quite as much, nor keep it as long, as he did last season, for what amounts to 1.2 percent of this regular season. Even if that continues, now that he's playing with three All-Stars rather than one, it's all part of the transition, and all non-touches are not created equal. Not getting all the way up the court as Stephen Curry fires in transition, for instance, is not going to be a big problem.
That's how Curry cooks. That's how Durant does too, when he's on. That will be their unusual blend of offense, something the league hasn't quite seen before.
But the Durant we saw Tuesday? We know that guy.
And he'll be just fine.