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Kevin Durant Interview: OKC is Where He Needs to Be

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David Aldridge, one of the best NBA reporters out there, offers up his weekly column and as always it is jam-packed with enough content to make 3-4 worthy posts. Be sure to read all of it, because he begins by writing about how the Thunder are still figuring themselves out. Aldridge concludes the article though with an interview he conducted with Kevin Durant before the playoffs started, and I have a few excerpts below:


David Aldridge: So many things happen to us over the course of our lives that push us in one direction or another. How do you think you wound up here?

Kevin Durant: Well, you know, once I meet my Lord and Savior, that's one of the questions I'm going to ask. It's such a blessing to have so many people come in and out of my life, for various reasons, to help me to get to where I'm at. It's not just me. It's all the people who sacrificed their time and helped me out, and worked with me every single day. But I'm not where I want to be. I have a lot of growing to do. There's another level I want to get to, but I like where I'm at right now. I like the road I'm headed to. I've got to continue to just keep believing, and keep faith.

DA: When you'd watch those teams the last couple of years, did you envision your team getting there?

KD: I knew we had a chance. I knew we had a chance to do it if we continued to grow individually first, and come together as a group, collectively, to do it. I pointed at myself. I looked in the mirror and just told myself if I grew as individual player, then that means my team was going to do better. So I just tried to kick it into full drive this summer and work as hard as I can every day, and just play every day. Once you just play the game, you start to pick up habits. You start to see things a little differently. That's what I did.

Me: During the lockout, people were saying not to play, because of the risk of injury, and yet you played everywhere, almost every day. Do you find it ironic that you're the one who winds up playing in June?

KD: Yeah. I never really looked at it like, 'I can't play; I can't risk injury.' I always felt God had my back, and whatever happens is going to happen. If I get hurt playing the game of basketball, so be it. It's something that I love to do. I was hoping I wasn't going to get hurt, but it was all about wanting to play, wanting to show people what I could do. And still, I had that opportunity to do that playing at the Rucker Park, playing back home in D.C., playing in Memphis, different areas where people really hadn't seen me play up close. I just wanted to make a point and prove a point. I think it was fun.

Me: Do you feel like a different kind of superstar?

KD: I don't feel like a superstar, to be honest. You say 'superstar,' you gotta look at guys like the Kobe Bryants and the LeBrons and the DWades, where they can't go to the mall. They can't even go to the McDonalds. They just get swarmed. Carmelo Anthony, I've seen that up close, where people just love those guys. As opposed to me, I can just be regular. I can walk out, walk down the street, go to the mall, go to the gas station, and people don't even recognize me. I like it like that. I always wanted to consider myself as a good basketball player, and I'm not there yet.

Me: What were the workouts like with LeBron last summer?

KD: They were good. I got better. And that was just the main part. That was what I wanted to do, to get better. Great workouts. He worked hard, I worked hard, and we got it in.

Me: How did that come about? Was it a Nike thing, or did LeBron call you?

KD: Yeah, he seen me playing all those games, and he just said, 'Hey, man, let's get together and work out.' Some weeks went past, a month or so, and I just hit him and said, 'You still want to work out?' I was looking for some new guys to work out with. I just said, 'Hey, let's go out there.' So a few of my guys went with me, and we had a real good time.

Me: Did you learn anything from him?

KD: I always just try to see how guys approach the game, how hard they work. And he's one of the guys that work hard and really is passionate about the game, and that's the same way I am. I really like players like that, no matter if you're in high school, college or the NBA, I just like players that work hard and respect the game, and he's one of those guys.