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 three 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 four 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 Sonics. 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.
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. 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 Life outside basketball
- 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.2 Durant has one sister, Brianna, and two brothers, Tony and Rayvonne.3 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.45 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 35.6
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.7 Prior to the start of the season, he committed to The University of Texas.8 At the conclusion of the year, he was named the Washington Post All Met Basketball Player of the Year, as well as a McDonald's All American and MVP of the 2006 McDonald's All American Game.910 He was widely regarded as the second-best high school prospect of 2006.1112
For the 2006-07 college season, Durant averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.13 Behind his play, the Longhorns finished the year with a 25-10 record overall and a 12-4 record in conference.14 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.15 For his outstanding play, Durant earned a number of season-end awards and honors,16171819 including being named the Naismith College Player of the Year, becoming the first ever freshman to win the award.20 On April 11, he officially declared for the 2007 NBA Draft.21 His jersey was later retired by the Longhorns.22
- Cited from ESPN.23
Early seasons (2007–09)
Durant was selected second overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics.24 On October 31 of the following season, he made his professional debut with an 18 point, 5 rebound, and 3 steal performance.25 On November 16, he made the first game-winning shot of his career against the Atlanta Hawks.26 In the last game of the year, he recorded the first double-double of his career with 42 points and 13 rebounds.27 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.13
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.28 The team also drafted UCLA guard Russell Westbrook,29 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.30 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.13
In the 2009–10 season, Durant was selected to his first All-Star Game.13 Behind his play, the Thunder improved their record by 27 wins from the previous year and defied expectations to make the playoffs.3132 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.1333 In his playoff debut, he scored 24 points in a Game 1 loss against the Los Angeles Lakers.34 Oklahoma City would go on to lose the series in six games,35 but the team's performance led sports analysts to label them as an upcoming title contender.36
Contending for a title (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.3738 For the second consecutive year, he led the NBA in scoring, averaging 27.7 points a game.39 Behind his leadership, the Thunder won 55 games and earned the fourth seed in the Western Conference.40 In the playoffs, Oklahoma City defeated the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies en route to a Conference Finals match-up versus the Dallas Mavericks, with the Thunder losing in five games.41
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.4243 At the 2012 All-Star Game, he scored 36 points and was awarded his first All-Star Game MVP Award.44 He finished the year with a scoring average of 28 points per game, representing his third straight scoring title.45 Behind his play, the Thunder won 47 games and entered the playoffs as the Western Conference's second seed.46 In Game 1 of the first round against the Dallas Mavericks, Durant hit a game-winner with 1.5 seconds remaining.47 Oklahoma City would go on to defeat the Mavericks, and then the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, before losing to the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals.48 In the Finals, Durant led all players with 30.6 points per game, doing so with a 54.8 shooting rate.49
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.50 On January 18, Durant scored a career-high 52 points in an overtime victory against the Mavericks.51 With a final scoring average of 28.1 points per game, he 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, Durant became the youngest player in NBA history to join the 50–40–90 club.1352 Finishing the year with a 60-22 record, Oklahoma City earned the first seed in the Western Conference.53 In the first round of the playoffs against the Rockets, Russell Westbrook injured his knee, forcing him to miss the remainder of the postseason.5455 Without Westbrook, Durant was given more responsibility,56 averaging a career-high 30.8 points per game throughout the playoffs,13 but Oklahoma City were eventually eliminated in the second round by the Grizzlies.54
In late February 2007, Durant received an invitation to the Team USA Basketball training camp, becoming the second college freshman (the first being Greg Oden) to do so.57 After playing in only a handful of games in the 2007 NBA Summer League, Durant was chosen to play for Team USA and participate in the State Farm USA basketball challenge, alongside NBA All-Stars such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwight Howard.58 Despite a strong performance, Durant was ultimately cut from Team USA when the roster was trimmed to its twelve-player limit.59 Coach Mike Krzyzewski cited the experience of the remaining players as the deciding factor in making the cut.59
Durant was eventually selected to Team USA at 2010 FIBA World Championship and became the leader of the team as other All-Stars were unavailable, a role he downplayed.60 He would lead Team USA to its first FIBA World Championship since 1994, earning tournament MVP honors in the process.61 Along the way, Durant broke several Team USA scoring records including most points in a tournament (205) and most points in a single game (38).citation needed He averaged 22.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in nine games.citation needed
At the 2012 Olympics in London, England, Durant set a record for most total points scored in an Olympic basketball tournament, previously held by Spencer Haywood.62 The team finished undefeated, winning the gold medal match over runner-up Spain.citation needed
Standing at six feet, nine inches tall and weighing 240 pounds, Durant plays the small forward and power forward positions.13 His career averages are 26.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game.13 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 writer Zach Lowe.63 He has earned All-NBA honors every season since 2010 and was voted Rookie of the Year in his debut season.13 In 2010, 2012, and 2013, he finished second in voting for the Most Valuable Player Award,646566 a trend he has expressed frustration over.67 Since 2012, Durant has been ranked the second best player in the NBA by ESPN's #NBArank project.6869
Early in his career, Durant was criticized for not being a well-rounded player, unable to defend or pass.70 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.71 Described as a "scoring prodigy" by John Hollinger,72 Durant regularly ranks as one of the NBA's leaders in points. His seven foot, four inch wingspan allows him to cleanly get his shot off whenever he needs to, even against aggressive defenses.7173 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 2012.72
Life outside basketball
Durant was formerly represented by agents Aaron Goodwin and Rob Pelinka.7475 He left Pelinka in 2013, and signed with the Roc Nation group, headed by Jay-Z.7576 Durant has endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Panini, General Electric, and 2K Sports.77 In 2013, he earned $35 million, making him the fourth highest-earning basketball player that year.78 In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Durant claimed that despite his high earnings potential, "global marketing and all that stuff" does not interest him.77
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.79 His generosity inspired the Thunder and Nike to match his donation.80 He is also a spokesperson for the Washington, D.C. branch of P'Tones Records, a nationwide non-profit after-school music program.81
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.77 In 2013, Foot Locker released a series of commercials donning Durant the "nicest guy in the NBA".82 In his spare time, he describes himself as a "high school kid" and enjoys playing videogames and posting on Twitter.83 He has tried his hand at acting, appearing in the children's film Thunderstruck.84 He is currently engaged to Monica Wright, a WNBA player.85
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
- NBA All-Star: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- NBA scoring champion: 2010, 2011, 2012
- 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
- NBA All-Star Weekend H–O–R–S–E Competition winner: 2009, 2010
- 2010 FIBA World Championship MVP61
- 2012 NBA Western Conference Finals champions
- Milestones and records
- Most points in a Rookie Challenge game (46)
- Most points in an NBA All-Star Weekend (46)
- Most points in a FIBA World Championship game by Team USA (38)
- Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder Franchise Records
- Consecutive games scoring 30 or more points [7 (twice), from December 22, 2009 to January 2, 2010 and from April 4, 2010 to April 14]
- Broke the record of 6 set by Spencer Haywood in January 1972.
- Consecutive games scoring 25 or more points (29, from December 22, 2009 to February 23, 2010)
- Most 30+ point games in one season (48, 2009–2010)
- Most points in one season (2,472; 2009–2010)
- 2006 Co-MVP McDonald's All-American Game – Shared award with Chase Budinger
- 2007 ESPN All-American86
- 2007 ESPN Player of the Year86
- 2007 NABC Division I Player of the Year16
- 2007 AP Player of the Year (First freshman to achieve the honor)
- 2007 AP All-America 1st Team (unanimous)87
- 2007 Oscar Robertson Trophy17
- 2007 Adolph Rupp Trophy18
- 2007 Naismith Award Winner (First freshman to do so)88
- 2007 John R. Wooden Award All-American Team89
- 2007 John R. Wooden Award Winner19
- Big 12 Rookie of the Week (six times)90
- Big 12 Player of the Week (four times)90
- 2007 Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Awards:91
- Player of the Year
- Big 12 Freshman of the Year
- All-Big 12 First Team (unanimous)
- Big 12 All-Defensive Team
- Big 12 All-Rookie Team (unanimous)
- 2007 AP National Player of the Year92
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