Oklahoma City Thunder SF Kevin Durant has a lot to be proud about these days. Drafted second overall to the Seattle Supersonics in the 2007 NBA Draft, Durant has a lot of achievements under his belt over the course of his six year career. After reaching the NBA Finals in 2012, the Thunder were clearly the favorites to clinch the Western Conference and make it back to the Finals in 2013. But after a devastating injury to Russell Westbrook, their return to the Title game was dashed, but through it all Durant continued to guide the Thunder the best way he could.
While the NBA lottery is properly named because we never know whether a player will reach his potential, Durant being drafted as the centerpiece of the franchise has arguably surpassed expectations. Durant is on a career trajectory to have one of the greatest careers in NBA history.
Here are the top five moments that have shaped Kevin Durant’s career for the better and made him the player he is today.
5. Joined the 50-40-90 Club
This club is named 50-40-90 because it's for players who have a 50 percent or better field goal percentage, a 40 percent or better three-point field goal percentage and a 90 percent or better free throw percentage in an NBA season and made the league minimum in each statistical category. Durant joined this club after the 2012-13 season when he posted a 51 percent in field goal percentage, a 42 percent three-point field goal percentage and a 91 percent free throw percentage. As the youngest player in NBA history to join this exclusive club, Durant joined the likes of Steve Nash, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller and Dirk Nowitzki.
4. Rookie of the Year The 2007
NBA Draft had a lot of talented players up to being drafted. After being selected second overall by the Supersonics in 2007, Durant was fast becoming a basketball star. He led all rookies in scoring and by seasons end; Durant was named Rookie of the Year after he averaged 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. This solidified Durant has a force to be reckoned with and also showed his critics that he wasn't a draft bust, but a talented player that was going to be around the League for a while.
3. Becoming Youngest NBA Scoring Champion
To be named the youngest scoring champion, a player must have the highest points per game average in a season. With an average scoring average of 30.1 points, Durant was named the NBA Scoring Champion during the 2009-10 season. The only player that year to be the closest to beating Durant was LeBron James, but the Cleveland Cavaliers sat him out his final game and Durant was crowned. It seems to be a trend for Durant to clinch several accolades while also be the youngest player doing so.
2. Reaching the NBA Finals
In what some consider being the best matchup in years, the Thunder squared off against the heavily-favored Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals. After sweeping the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference quarterfinals, the Thunder were to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference semifinals. Averaging 26.8 points during that series, the Thunder went on to beat the Lakers in five games, but the San Antonio Spurs were not going to make this easy for OKC. After losing the first two games to the Spurs in the Conference Final game, Durant averaged 29 points that series and the Thunder were able to defeat the Spurs in six games. Although the Heat went on to be crowned NBA Champions in five games, fans remembered Durant and the Thunder were a team to remember and not take them lightly.
1. Winning Olympic Gold
Durant can now say he's won two gold medals. The first gold medal he won in 2010 while playing in the FIBA World Championship for Team USA in Turkey. Once the Final game rolled around, Team USA defeated Turkey 81-64. This win for Team USA was the first time since 1994 that they had won the FIBA World Championship. Along with being named tournament MVP, Durant had the most tournament points, and the most tournament points in a game, which he scored 38 points against Lithuania, which were all Team USA records. Durant would also to go on a win Olympic gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Being able to say who have won two Olympic gold medals would be Durant’s greatest crowning achievement.