Kevin Durant is entering his sixth year in the league. He's the runner up to the league MVP (it went to his summer workout buddy), he won an MVP at last season's All-Star game, he reached a new level of consistency and performance in the playoffs, and...he's not done yet.
The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry gets Durant to talk about about his preparation for the upcoming season and how this year he expects to be better than the last:
"I’m just more focused and locked in on what we have to do," Durant explained. "Me being a leader on this team — most of our veteran guys are gone and we’re adding younger guys — I know what it takes for us to be a good team in this league and I know what I have to do to help this team grow. So I’m just excited around this time."
Durant strives to be a more vocal leader, but credits his teammates for making it an easy job:
"We have a lot of different personalities on this team, and you’ve got to talk to guys a certain way. I’ve known all these guys for three or four years. It’s just a matter of me speaking up and telling them what I see, and these guys listen. So it’s perfect having a great group of players that listen to each other and want to get better. So it’s making my job easier."
Durant knows that once you get near the pinnacle it becomes more and more difficult to make substantive jumps in performance, but he understands the areas where he must continue to grow:
"I just want to raise it up a little bit more. I think I got another level I can go to. It’s not easy. It’s easier said than done. I just got to be well-conditioned to go out there and give it my all on both ends of the floor night in and night out, and I’ve got to be willing to sacrifice a wide open shot maybe for a better shot or maybe a dunk for my teammates. So I got to just continue to watch film and see where I can get better and continue to keep improving on the defensive end."