Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988) is an American professional basketball player with the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Standing at 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) and weighing 240 pounds (109 kg), he has played the small forward and power forward positions for the Thunder, formerly the Seattle SuperSonics. Durant has won an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and an Olympic gold medal. He has also been selected to five All-NBA teams and five All-Star teams.
Durant was a heavily recruited high school prospect. He attended the University of Texas for one season of college basketball, where he won numerous year-end awards and became the first ever freshman to be named Naismith College Player of the Year. In the 2007 NBA draft, he was selected second overall by the Seattle SuperSonics. After his rookie season, the team moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. Durant helped lead the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in five games.
Off the court, Durant is a well-liked player who has donated money to various causes and is popular in Oklahoma City for his kindness toward the community. In 2012, he starred in his first feature film, Thunderstruck.
- 1 Early life
- 2 College career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 International career
- 5 Player profile
- 6 Off the court
- 7 NBA career statistics
- 8 Awards and honors
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Durant was born on September 29, 1988 in Washington, D.C. to Wanda and Wayne Pratt, who raised Durant with his grandmother, Barbara Davis. Durant has one sister, Brianna, and two brothers, Tony and Rayvonne. Durant's favorite team growing up was the Toronto Raptors, and he was a fan of Vince Carter. A basketball player from his earliest days, Durant played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for several teams in the Maryland area, and was teammates with future NBA players Michael Beasley, Greivis Vasquez, and Ty Lawson, the former of whom Durant remains friends with to this day. During this time, Durant began wearing #35 as his jersey number in honor of his AAU coach Charles Craig, who was murdered at the age of 35.
After playing two years of high school basketball at National Christian Academy and one year at Oak Hill Academy, Durant transferred to Montrose Christian School for his senior year, growing five inches before the start of the season and beginning the year with a height of six feet, seven inches. Prior to the start of the season, he committed to the University of Texas. At the conclusion of the year, he was named the Washington Post All Met Basketball Player of the Year, as well as MVP of the 2006 McDonald's All American Game. He was widely regarded as the second-best high school prospect of 2006.
For the 2006–07 college season, Durant averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game and led all freshman in scoring. Behind his play, the Longhorns finished the year with a 25–10 record overall and a 12–4 record in conference. Awarded a fourth seed in the NCAA Tournament, Texas won their first round match-up against New Mexico State but were upset in the second round by USC despite a 30 point and 9 rebound performance from Durant. Durant earned a number of season-end awards and honors, including being named the Naismith College Player of the Year, becoming the first ever freshman to win the award. On April 11, he officially declared for the 2007 NBA draft. His jersey was later retired by the Longhorns.
College career statistics
- Cited from ESPN.
Seattle SuperSonics (2007–08)
Durant was selected second overall in the 2007 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. On October 31 of the following season, he made his professional debut with an 18 point, 5 rebound, and 3 steal performance. On November 16, he made the first game-winning shot of his career in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. At the conclusion of the season, he was named the Rookie of the Year with averages of 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. He joined Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James as the only teenagers in NBA history to average at least 20 points per game for a season.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)
Following Durant's debut season, the SuperSonics relocated from Seattle to Oklahoma City, becoming the Thunder and switching to new colors blue, orange, and yellow. At the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend, Durant set a Rookie Challenge record with 46 points and was named MVP of the event. By the conclusion of the year, he had raised his scoring average by five points from the prior season to 25.3 points per game, and was considered a strong candidate for the Most Improved Player Award, eventually finishing third in the voting.
In the 2009–10 season, Durant was selected to his first All-Star Game. Behind the play of Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder improved their record by 27 wins from the previous year and made the playoffs for the first time in his career and since the franchise relocated. In his playoff debut, he scored 24 points in a Game 1 loss against the Los Angeles Lakers. Oklahoma City would go on to lose the series to the eventual NBA champions in six games. Durant averaged 30.1 points per game on the season and became the youngest-ever NBA scoring champion. As a result, he was selected to his first All-NBA team.
Deep playoff runs (2010–13)
Prior to the start of the 2010–11 season, Durant announced via Twitter that he had signed a five year contract extension with the Thunder worth approximately $86 million. For the second consecutive year, he led the NBA in scoring, averaging 27.7 points a game. Behind his leadership, the Thunder won 55 games and earned the fourth seed in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, Oklahoma City defeated the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies en route to a Conference Finals match-up versus the Dallas Mavericks, losing in five games to the eventual NBA champions.
On February 19 of the lockout-shortened 2011–12 season, Durant recorded his first career 50 point game, scoring 51 points against the Denver Nuggets. At the 2012 All-Star Game, he scored 36 points and was awarded his first All-Star Game MVP Award. He finished the year averaging 28.0 points per game, good for his third straight scoring title. Behind his play, the Thunder won 47 games on the lockout-shortened season and entered the playoffs as the Western Conference's second seed. In Game 1 of the first round, against the Dallas Mavericks, Durant hit a game-winner with 1.5 seconds remaining. Oklahoma City would go on to defeat the Mavericks, the Lakers, and the San Antonio Spurs to advance to the first NBA Finals in Oklahoma City franchise history. However, they would lose to the Miami Heat in five games. For the series, Durant led all players with 30.6 points per game, doing so with a 54.8 shooting rate.
In the first game of the 2012-13 NBA season, Durant scored 23 points to give him over 10,000 career points. He became the second-youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,000 points behind only LeBron James. For the season, Durant averaged 28.1 points per game while shooting 51.0 percent from the field, 41.6 percent from three-point range, and 90.5 percent from the free-throw line. In doing so, he became the youngest player in NBA history to join the 50–40–90 club. Finishing the year with a 60–22 record, Oklahoma City earned the first seed in the Western Conference. In the first round of the playoffs against the Houston Rockets, Durant's teammate Russell Westbrook tore his right meniscus, forcing him to miss the remainder of the postseason. Durant averaged a 30.8 points per game throughout the playoffs but without Westbrook, Oklahoma City were eventually eliminated in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies.
MVP season (2013–14)
In January of the 2013–14 season, while teammate Russell Westbrook was still sidelined, Durant averaged 35.9 points per game while scoring 30 or more points in 12 straight games, including a career-high 54 points against the Golden State Warriors. Durant finished the season with final averages of 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. He was the NBA scoring leader for the fourth time in his career and led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 59-23 record and the second seed in the western conference. For his efforts, Durant was named the league's Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career. In the first round of the playoffs, the Thunder fell behind 3–2 to the Grizzlies following a series of inconsistent performances from Durant, prompting The Oklahoman to dub him "Mr. Unreliable". He responded by scoring 36 points in a Game 6 victory. Oklahoma City eventually eliminated Memphis and the Los Angeles Clippers before losing to the eventual champion Spurs in the conference finals in six games.
On October 12, 2014, Durant was diagnosed with a fractured right foot after feeling discomfort the day before and was ruled out for 6 to 8 weeks. He went on to miss the first 17 games of the season, and with Russell Westbrook also out for 14 of those 17 games with a fractured hand, the Thunder dropped to a 4-12 record prior to Westbrook's return on November 28 against the New York Knicks. Following Westbrook's return, Durant returned to action the following game on December 2 as he scored 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting in the 104-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. With the duo back to full health, they went on to lead the Thunder on a seven-game winning streak to bring the Thunder back into playoff contention. However, another hick-up to Durant's season occurred on December 18 as he injured his ankle during the second quarter of the streak-breaking 109-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Durant scored 30 points in 18 minutes before going down with the injury. He became the first player in NBA history to have played under 20 minutes in a game and score at least 30 points. Durant subsequently missed the following six games before returning to the court on December 31, 2014, against the Phoenix Suns. He scored a season-high 44 points in the game on 13-of-23 shooting, while adding 10 rebounds and 7 assists, to help the Thunder defeat the Suns in overtime, 137-134. The following game on January 2, 2015, Durant scored 34 points to lead the Thunder to a 109-102 win over Washington, moving their record to 17-17 and a .500 record for the first time this season.
In February 2007, Durant received an invitation to the United States national team training camp. Despite a strong performance, he was cut from Team USA when the roster was trimmed to its twelve-player limit. Coach Mike Krzyzewski cited the experience of the remaining players as the deciding factor in making the cut. Durant was finally selected to the national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and became their leader as other All-Stars were unavailable, a role he downplayed. At the tournament, he led Team USA to its first FIBA World Championship since 1994, earning MVP honors in the process. His final averages for the competition were 22.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game over nine games.
At the 2012 Olympics, Durant set the record for total points scored in an Olympic basketball tournament. With averages of 19.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, he helped the national team go undefeated en route to a gold medal. In the tournament's final game, he led all scorers with 30 points.
Standing at six feet, nine inches tall and weighing 240 pounds, Durant plays mostly at the small forward positions. His career averages are 27.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. He has earned All-NBA honors every season since 2010 and was voted Rookie of the Year in his debut season. He has won a Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award and finished second in the voting three times, a trend he has expressed frustration over.
Described as a "scoring prodigy" by John Hollinger, Durant has won the scoring title four times in his career. A strong outside shooter, he is one of only six members of the 50–40–90 club, and his 2013 campaign was called "one of the greatest shooting seasons in league history" by Grantland's Zach Lowe. Durant has a seven foot, four inch wingspan which helps him get his shot cleanly over most defenders. He is also a strong finisher at the rim, converting on 72.2 percent of shots in the paint in 2012. Early in his career, he was slightly criticized for his slim build, defense, and passing. Durant has been able to succeed despite not being exceptionally strong or fast and increased his assists numbers every year from 2010-2014. Durant also showed defensive improvement in his MVP season. On the year, opponents averaged only .62 points per isolation play against him; the best success rate for defensive players who faced at least 100 isolations that season.
Off the court
Durant owns several properties in Oklahoma City, and in 2013 put his primary residence in the affluent Club Villa neighborhood on sale for $1.95 million. That same year, he opened a restaurant, KD's Southern Cuisine, in the Bricktown neighborhood of Oklahoma City. He is engaged to Monica Wright, a WNBA player. In his spare time, he describes himself as a "high school kid" and enjoys playing video games. He is a Christian and goes to chapel before every game; he has religious tattoos on his stomach, wrist, and back.
Durant was formerly represented by agents Aaron Goodwin and Rob Pelinka. He left Pelinka in 2013, and signed with the Roc Nation group, headed by Jay-Z. Durant has endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Panini, General Electric, and 2K Sports. In 2013, he earned $35 million, making him the fourth-highest-earning basketball player that year. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Durant claimed that despite his high earnings potential, "global marketing and all that stuff" does not interest him.
Throughout his career, Durant has participated in philanthropic causes. In 2013, he pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross for the victims of the 2013 Moore tornado. His generosity inspired the Thunder and Nike to match his donation. He is also a spokesperson for the Washington, D.C. branch of P'Tones Records, a nationwide non-profit after-school music program.
Durant is a well liked player, and in 2012, a poll revealed he was viewed more favorably by fans than Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. In 2013, Foot Locker released a series of commercials calling Durant the "nicest guy in the NBA". In Oklahoma City, he has become a beloved figure, known for his "nice escapades" toward the Thunder's staff. In 2014, Durant partnered with KIND snacks and launched StrongAndKind.com to show "being kind is not a sign of weakness." One of the most popular players in the league, his jersey regularly ranks as one of the NBA's best-selling and is consistently one of the top All-Star vote-getters.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|Led the league|
- Correct as of March 22, 2014.
Awards and honors
- Cited from Basketball Reference's Kevin Durant page unless noted otherwise.
- NBA Most Valuable Player: 2014
- 5x NBA All-Star: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- 5x All-NBA First Team: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- 4x NBA scoring champion: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
- NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2012
- NBA Rookie of the Year: 2008
- All-Rookie First Team: 2008
- NBA Rookie Challenge MVP: 2009
United States National Team
- Cited from USA Basketball's Kevin Durant page unless noted otherwise.
- Olympic gold medalist: 2012
- FIBA World Championship gold medalist: 2010
- FIBA World Championship Most Valuable Player: 2010
- Naismith College Player of the Year: 2007
- NABC Division I Player of the Year: 2007
- AP Player of the Year: 2007
- AP All-America 1st Team: 2007
- Oscar Robertson Trophy: 2007
- Adolph Rupp Trophy: 2007
- John R. Wooden Award: 2007
- Big 12 Player of the Year: (2007)
- USBWA National Freshman of the Year: (2007)
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