Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has played the small forward position 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 seven 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 relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. Durant helped lead Oklahoma City to the 2012 NBA Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in five games. In 2012, he starred in his first feature film, Thunderstruck.
- 1 Early life
- 2 College career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 National team 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 (née Durant) and Wayne Pratt. When Durant was an infant, his father deserted the family; Wanda and Wayne eventually divorced, and Durant's grandmother Barbara Davis helped raise him. 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. 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, in his professional debut he had 18-points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. 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. 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.
During 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.
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.
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 Mavericks, Durant hit a game-winner with 1.5 seconds remaining. Oklahoma City would go on to defeat Dallas, the Lakers, and the San Antonio Spurs before losing to the Miami Heat in the Finals. For the series, Durant led all players with 30.6 points per game, doing so with a 54.8 shooting rate.
With a scoring average of 28.1 points per game to finish the 2012–13 season, 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 Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook tore his meniscus, 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 Memphis Grizzlies.
MVP season (2013–14)
In January of the 2013–14 season, 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. With final averages of 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game, he was voted the league's Most Valuable Player. In the first round of the playoffs, Durant had a series of inconsistent performances against the Grizzlies and the Thunder fell behind 3–2, 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.
Injury-riddled season (2014–15)
On October 12, 2014, Durant was diagnosed with a Jones fracture in his right foot and was ruled out for six to eight weeks. He went on to miss the first 17 games of the 2014–15 season before returning on December 2 against the New Orleans Pelicans. On December 18, he injured his ankle against the Golden State Warriors, returning to action on December 31 against the Phoenix Suns to score a season-high 44 points. He then sprained his left big toe in late January. On February 22, he was sidelined again after undergoing a minor procedure to help reduce pain and discomfort in his surgically repaired right foot, and on March 27, he was officially ruled out for the season after deciding to undergo foot surgery. In just 27 games, he averaged 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
On October 30, 2015, in a double-overtime win over the Orlando Magic, Durant and Russell Westbrook became the first pair of teammates to each score at least 40 points in a single game since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen accomplished the feat in 1996. Durant had 43 and Westbrook had 48 as the Thunder defeated the Magic 139–136. Durant missed six games between November 13 and November 22 with a hamstring injury, returning to action November 23 to score 27 points against the Utah Jazz. On December 10, he recorded his seventh career triple-double with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a 107–94 win over the Atlanta Hawks. On December 27, Durant recorded 26 points and 10 assists in a 122–112 win over the Denver Nuggets. In that game, Durant and Westbrook became the first teammates to each have at least 25 points and 10 assists in a regulation game since Utah's John Stockton (31 points, 11 assists) and Karl Malone (27 points, 10 assists) on February 2, 1996. On January 4, he was named NBA Western Conference co-Player of the Month for December alongside Westbrook. On January 26, he scored a season-high 44 points in a 128–122 overtime win over the New York Knicks. On February 2, he was named NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for January.
National team career
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 position. 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 an 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 regularly finishes as one of the NBA's points leaders and has won the scoring title four times. 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 criticized for his slim build, defense, and passing. Over time, he grew as a playmaker, increasing his assist numbers every year from 2010 to 2014. He also showed defensive improvement, with opponents averaging just .62 points per isolation play against him in 2014, 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 up for sale for $1.95 million. That same year, he opened a restaurant, KD's Southern Cuisine, in the Bricktown neighborhood of Oklahoma City. He was 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. In 2012, he tried his hand at acting, appearing in the children's film Thunderstruck.
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 he 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|
Awards and honors
- Cited from Basketball Reference's Kevin Durant page unless noted otherwise.
- NBA Most Valuable Player: 2014
- 7x NBA All-Star: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- 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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