For a moment, it looked as though Kevin Durant had won the Brooklyn Nets their second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks on a 3-pointer over P.J. Tucker with only one second left on the game clock. Had the shot counted for three points, the Nets would have led the Bucks 110-109, and if Giannis Antetokounmpo had missed at the buzzer as he did in reality, Brooklyn would have won the game in regulation. But the officials called the shot a 2-pointer, which was later confirmed by replay. That only tied the score at 109 apiece, and the Bucks went on to win the game in overtime, 115-111.
It's ironic. Durant hit a truly remarkable shot, but because of the way the game ended, that moment will still go down as perhaps the biggest disappointment of the season. "My big ass foot stepped on the line," Durant told reporters after the game. "I just saw how close I was to ending their season with that shot." That screenshot shows that it was truly a matter of inches.
Durant wears a size 18 shoe -- one of the biggest in the NBA -- but only has a size 17 foot. "These are like slippers, man," Durant said in a 2018 interview with FiveThirtyEight's Chris Herring. "And I just try to be as efficient as I can when I create what I want out there. I don't want something that's too bulky. So, sometimes they may come off, but the good thing is, I can slip them back on and keep playing."
Would a smaller shoe have given Durant enough room to stay behind the arc? We'll never know. But the Nets certainly aren't blaming Durant's feet for their loss. "I don't know what more Kevin could do," Nets coach Steve Nash said after the game. "Just out of this world."
Durant, like most athletes, is very particular about his apparel. Perhaps a smaller shoe would have helped him stay behind the line. But Durant scored 48 points, the most ever in a Game 7. Comfort likely contributed to that. Ultimately, the Nets trust Durant to outfit himself appropriately. As disappointing as the loss is, no body part of Durant's should be considered responsible after the game he had. Not even his big feet.