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 four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and an Olympic gold medal. He has also been selected to four 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 SuperSonics. After his rookie season, the team moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. Behind his play, the Thunder reached the 2012 NBA Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in five games. His career achievements have led many basketball analysts to consider him the second best player in the NBA today behind LeBron James.
Off the court, Durant has accumulated considerable wealth as a result of numerous endorsement contracts. A well-liked player, he is a philanthropist who has donated money to various causes and is beloved in Oklahoma City for his kindness toward the community. In 2012, he starred in his first feature film, Thunderstruck.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Amateur career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 International career
- 5 Player profile
- 6 Life outside basketball
- 7 NBA career statistics
- 8 Awards and honors
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 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. 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 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. 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 the University of Southern California despite a 30 point and 9 rebound performance from Durant. For his outstanding play, 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 to average more than 20 points per game.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)
Following Durant's debut season, the Sonics relocated from Seattle to Oklahoma City, becoming the Thunder and switching to new colors blue, orange, and yellow. The team also drafted UCLA guard Russell Westbrook, who would form an All-Star combination with Durant in later years. At the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend, Durant set a Rookie Challenge record with 46 points. 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 his play, the Thunder improved their record by 27 wins from the previous year and defied expectations to make the playoffs. With a scoring average of 30.1 points per game, he became the youngest-ever NBA scoring champion and was selected to his first All-NBA team. 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 in six games, but the team's performance led sports analysts to label them as an upcoming title contender.
Ups and downs (2010–present)
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.
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 with a scoring average of 28 points per game, representing his third straight scoring title. Behind his play, the Thunder won 47 games 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 before losing to the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals. In the Finals, Durant led all players with 30.6 points per game, doing so with a 54.8 shooting rate.
Prior to the start of the 2012–13 season, the Thunder traded the defending Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to the Houston Rockets, a move that sports analysts believed hurt Oklahoma City's title chances. With a final scoring average of 28.1 points per game, Durant failed to defend his scoring title; however, with a 51 percent shooting rate, a 41.6 percent three point shooting rate, and a 90.5 free throw shooting rate, 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 Rockets, Russell Westbrook injured his knee, forcing him to miss the remainder of the postseason. Without Westbrook, Durant was given more responsibility, averaging a career-high 30.8 points per game throughout the playoffs, but Oklahoma City were eventually eliminated in the second round by the Grizzlies.
In January of the 2013–14 season, Durant averaged 35.9 points per game while scoring 30-plus points in 12 straight games, including a career-high 54 points against the Golden State Warriors. ESPN's Kevin Pelton called the streak "unprecedented" in the modern era when factoring for Durant's combination of high efficiency and volume. Near the end of the year, Durant surpassed Michael Jordan's record for most consecutive games scoring at least 25 points with 41.
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 in 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 in at 240 pounds, Durant plays the small forward and power 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. In 2010, 2012, and 2013, he finished second in voting for the Most Valuable Player Award, a trend he has expressed frustration over. Since 2012, Durant has been ranked the second best player in the NBA by ESPN's #NBArank project.
Described as a "scoring prodigy" by John Hollinger, Durant regularly ranks as one of the NBA's leaders in points. 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 that allows him to cleanly get his shot off whenever he needs to, even when being closely guarded. A quick slasher going to the basket, he is also a strong finisher at the rim, converting on 72.2 percent of those attempts in 2012. Early in his career, he was criticized for not being a well-rounded player, unable to defend or pass. By 2012, both areas had improved significantly; in particular, his length became an asset for the Thunder, allowing them to play small ball and move Durant to the power forward position without sacrificing rebounds. In 2014, 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.
Life outside basketball
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 currently engaged to Monica Wright, a WNBA player. In his spare time, he describes himself as a "high school kid" and enjoys playing videogames and posting on Twitter. 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 donning 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. One of the most popular players in the league, his jersey regularly ranks as one of the NBA's best-selling, coming in fourth in 2013. In 2014, he was the highest vote-getter in the Western Conference and second-highest overall. In 2012, he tried his hand at acting, appearing in the children's film Thunderstruck.
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
Durant has won numerous awards and set many records during his career. The following are some of his achievements:
- Cited from Basketball Reference's Kevin Durant page unless noted otherwise.
- 5x NBA All-Star: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
- 4x NBA scoring champion: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
- 4x All-NBA First Team: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- NBA Rookie of the Year: 2008
- All-Rookie First Team: 2008
- NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2012
- 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
- Associated Press National Player of the Year: 2007
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