Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby Kobe8Fan on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:53 pm

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By Michael Lee, Published: August 25

Wearing black browline glasses, an aqua-colored shirt and white slacks, Kevin Durant sauntered through a hallway at the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown last week with the confidence of an accomplished star, far removed from being the pimple-faced teenager who entered the league five years ago hoping to one day earn a perch among the NBA elite.

But in an instant, Durant offered a reminder that — despite the three NBA scoring titles and the Olympic gold medal he added to his resume this month in London — there remains a youthful spirit behind the maturity. Durant passed over the bottled waters and sodas at a table of snacks and beverages, punched a mini straw into a Capri Sun and contently slurped away until the container shriveled up.

Back home in Washington for a brief reprieve to promote and premiere for family and friends his feature film debut, “Thunderstruck,” Durant also wanted to let it be known that while he won’t turn 24 until late September, the Oklahoma City all-star forward considers himself too much of an essential element of the NBA’s present to be clumped into discussions about its future.

“I’ve heard a few times, in three or four years, this league is going to be yours. . . . I don’t like that. Because I think I’m established now. My time is now,” Durant said. “I feel as though I’ve proved myself these last five years that I can be one of the top players in the league. I’ve got a long way to go to being the ultimate best, but I think my time is now. And I’m starting to enter my prime.”

Durant explained that he felt he belonged in the discussion of the league’s best since playing in the 2011 All-Star Game in Los Angeles but has mostly kept that sentiment bottled up, because, “I don’t like to talk about myself, but I had to get that out there.”

He probably felt a bit more comfortable after a dominant run this summer for the U.S. Men’s National Team, capped off by his 30-point outburst in the closely contested gold medal victory against Spain. Durant led the team — which featured nine all-stars, including two Finals MVPs and regular season MVPs in Kobe Bryant and LeBron James — in scoring at 19.5 points and set a new American men’s record for most points scored in an Olympic tournament with 156.

“I always felt that I belonged on top with those guys and I just have to continue to keep working to maintain that,” Durant said. “It feels good to be a part of a great group of guys, to do something special for the country. We all respected each other and they never looked at me as the younger guy coming up and waiting his turn. They were just, ‘Go out there and play, do what you do.’ And that’s what I did.”

‘That’s . . . not all who I am’

Durant didn’t take any time to rest after the Olympics, as he was quickly thrust into promoting his new movie, which opened in theaters on Friday. He plays himself in the family comedy, in which he magically swaps basketball talents with a hopeless teenager who becomes the hero of his high school basketball team while Durant and his Thunder founder.

“I’m a basketball player. That’s what I do and what I love but that’s just not all who I am. I’m talented in a lot of different areas,” said Durant, adding that he might put out a rap album in the near future.

Durant joins other NBA superstars turned movie stars, such as Michael Jordan in “Space Jam” and Shaquille O’Neal in “Kazaam.” Durant said he understood the considerable risk of stepping into an arena in which he had no prior experience aside from a few commercials, but he credited his mother, Wanda Pratt, for convincing him to make the movie.

“The thing that I was more concerned about is that I was just so shy. I didn’t want to look dumb,” Durant said, when asked if he had any apprehension about doing the movie, which he filmed last year in Louisiana during the NBA lockout. “She told me don’t worry about that. You can’t let other people dictate how you live. She gave me a whole little speech. I said, ‘Why not?’ I want people to see another side of me that they don’t see on the basketball court.

“When people are used to you doing something, they want you to stay in that lane,” Durant said, adding that he has received text messages from James and fellow Olympic teammates Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony telling him that they planned to take their children to see the movie. “But I had the courage to do something else and most people don’t want to see you do that. I really don’t care. I’m going to enjoy it. My family is going to enjoy it and people that go into it with an open mind are going to enjoy it.”

Moving at his own pace

Durant has had an eventful few months, with Oklahoma City losing in the Finals, winning a gold medal and starring in a movie, but he said the experience in London stands out among them all. “That’s the top for sure. Not just because we won the gold. It’s just the memories that we had while we was over there. Every day was fun,” Durant said. “It felt good to win the gold medal but I learned a lot by losing in the Finals and just going through every single obstacle throughout the season, the ups and downs. I can learn a lot more from losing and going through tough times rather than just winning it and going from there.”

Since the Heat claimed the NBA championship, several teams have reloaded this offseason, most notably the Lakers, who added three-time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard, two-time MVP Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison to the mix.

“We all are going to have to compete. I don’t think no team is going to lay down for anybody,” Durant said. “Everybody has got to play and I like our chances.”

Durant revealed his urgency to win with his tearful exit following Oklahoma City’s loss to Miami in Game 5. Nothing is promised beyond this moment, which made the Olympic gold medal that Durant won two weeks ago in London that much more fulfilling, but he said he would continue to move at his current pace, with the expectation that he’ll eventually seize his moment with an NBA title.

“I’m not going to let people define my career as a player thus far if I don’t win a championship,” he said. “They are going to say I’m a bust or I flopped or that I didn’t have a good career in the NBA because I didn’t win a championship in the time that they wanted me to do it? I’m just going to keep enjoying what I’m doing and hopefully I get there sooner than later.”


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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby therealdeal on Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:33 pm

“They are going to say I’m a bust or I flopped or that I didn’t have a good career in the NBA because I didn’t win a championship in the time that they wanted me to do it? I’m just going to keep enjoying what I’m doing and hopefully I get there sooner than later.”

Hopefully sooner or later? What kind of crap is that? You've got maybe one more season until Harden likely bolts and a lot of your versatility vanishes. Not to mention Miami isn't going anywhere, the Lakers are always going to be around. God, I hope that's not his attitude.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby S.R.05 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:19 pm

therealdeal wrote:
“They are going to say I’m a bust or I flopped or that I didn’t have a good career in the NBA because I didn’t win a championship in the time that they wanted me to do it? I’m just going to keep enjoying what I’m doing and hopefully I get there sooner than later.”

Hopefully sooner or later? What kind of crap is that? You've got maybe one more season until Harden likely bolts and a lot of your versatility vanishes. Not to mention Miami isn't going anywhere, the Lakers are always going to be around. God, I hope that's not his attitude.


i think he's trying to play the nonchalant role too hard. there's no way he actually thinks like this with the amount of work he clearly puts in on his game
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby Rooscooter on Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:33 pm

Durant winning a championship isn't entirely up to him...... :man10:

That team is not balanced..... I'm not sure, without some serious help, that Westbrook is ever going to be a dominant ball handler/scorer on a Championship team..... Ownership seems to think that the two of them can succeed together but I'm not so sure.... I think both Durant and OKC would be better off balancing that team out with a big that can play both ends of the court and a traditional point guard that can also shoot the 3.... This would define Durant's role and cement him as the leader......
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby Texas Lakers Fan on Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:55 pm

I love me some Kevin Durant. One of my favorite players in the league.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby therealdeal on Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:08 pm

Showtime.Revival.05 wrote:
therealdeal wrote:
“They are going to say I’m a bust or I flopped or that I didn’t have a good career in the NBA because I didn’t win a championship in the time that they wanted me to do it? I’m just going to keep enjoying what I’m doing and hopefully I get there sooner than later.”

Hopefully sooner or later? What kind of crap is that? You've got maybe one more season until Harden likely bolts and a lot of your versatility vanishes. Not to mention Miami isn't going anywhere, the Lakers are always going to be around. God, I hope that's not his attitude.


i think he's trying to play the nonchalant role too hard. there's no way he actually thinks like this with the amount of work he clearly puts in on his game

I agree. From everything I've seen from Kevin Durant and heard and so forth, this is a really odd quote. That's why it stuck out to me so much.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby therealdeal on Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Rooscooter wrote:Durant winning a championship isn't entirely up to him...... :man10:

That team is not balanced..... I'm not sure, without some serious help, that Westbrook is ever going to be a dominant ball handler/scorer on a Championship team..... Ownership seems to think that the two of them can succeed together but I'm not so sure.... I think both Durant and OKC would be better off balancing that team out with a big that can play both ends of the court and a traditional point guard that can also shoot the 3.... This would define Durant's role and cement him as the leader......

It's a tough call. We're old school and we think along the same lines the the team should really only have one true scorer with someone down low and someone who is a distributor. However, the Heat showed me that two guys who are primary scorers CAN work together. I think the key there is that James doesn't have much problem stepping back and dishing the ball. Westbrook cannot do that, or does not do that.

I think Westbrook is a perfect situation for him, but Durant isn't. Westbrook has much more freedom on this team because of the attention Durant needs. Durant gets the same amount of attention that he'd get anywhere, but less shots. In all, I think you're right, but the two are young enough to maybe make it work in time.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby Rooscooter on Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:41 pm

therealdeal wrote:
Rooscooter wrote:Durant winning a championship isn't entirely up to him...... :man10:

That team is not balanced..... I'm not sure, without some serious help, that Westbrook is ever going to be a dominant ball handler/scorer on a Championship team..... Ownership seems to think that the two of them can succeed together but I'm not so sure.... I think both Durant and OKC would be better off balancing that team out with a big that can play both ends of the court and a traditional point guard that can also shoot the 3.... This would define Durant's role and cement him as the leader......

It's a tough call. We're old school and we think along the same lines the the team should really only have one true scorer with someone down low and someone who is a distributor. However, the Heat showed me that two guys who are primary scorers CAN work together. I think the key there is that James doesn't have much problem stepping back and dishing the ball. Westbrook cannot do that, or does not do that.

I think Westbrook is a perfect situation for him, but Durant isn't. Westbrook has much more freedom on this team because of the attention Durant needs. Durant gets the same amount of attention that he'd get anywhere, but less shots. In all, I think you're right, but the two are young enough to maybe make it work in time.


I don't see any chemistry between Durant and Westbrook on the court..... they say all the right things off the court but when it gets tough on the court they don't play well with each other. LeBron and Wade are both more complete players than either Durant or Westbrook..... I think that has something to do with their success......

Maybe it's old school....but their lack of front court scoring is a huge issue. The bulk of their half court scoring comes from the perimeter. They live off of transition in the regular season but the playoffs you don't see nearly as many transition opportunities.

Your on point with the comparison to Miami with one overlooked piece........ Bosh. He had some pretty big all around games in the finals and it was his great game that got them by Boston as well..... OKC has no one in the front court that can get them a bucket when they need it.....
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby noobiew on Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:01 pm

I would love to see OKC traded and without Westbrook, it was largely him who took over and won the games for OKC against the Lakers in the playoffs this year, I think Westbrook did more damage and was the most hardest player for us to defend on the Thunder, he made way too many jumpers against us in the playoffs, his jumper has become absolutely dead-on lately smh
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby Finwë on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:10 pm

Texas Lakers Fan wrote:I love me some Kevin Durant. One of my favorite players in the league.

Me too. All this time I've been looking for a player that could fill the void to be left by Kobe after he's gone.
I think Durant's that dude. I don't like LeBron's style of play. I recognize his great production, I just don't like to watch him play that much. I've always been a fan of a particular skillset, always preferred footwork over just backing down players with your butt, always preferred shooters over slashers, etc.
He just needs a meaner attitude, he seems too nice. His post game needs work as well.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby therealdeal on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:39 pm

Rooscooter wrote:I don't see any chemistry between Durant and Westbrook on the court..... they say all the right things off the court but when it gets tough on the court they don't play well with each other. LeBron and Wade are both more complete players than either Durant or Westbrook..... I think that has something to do with their success......

Maybe it's old school....but their lack of front court scoring is a huge issue. The bulk of their half court scoring comes from the perimeter. They live off of transition in the regular season but the playoffs you don't see nearly as many transition opportunities.

Your on point with the comparison to Miami with one overlooked piece........ Bosh. He had some pretty big all around games in the finals and it was his great game that got them by Boston as well..... OKC has no one in the front court that can get them a bucket when they need it.....

I think the chemistry that Durant and Westbrook have is negligible. They "work" together because they're both great scorers, but in reality it's not that they mesh it's that they succeed in spite of each other. Add Harden to that list too, which is why I think he leaves when he gets a max offer somewhere. LeBron and Wade are definitely more complete, but if you scale down Miami's age and experience you'll likely see something along the lines of OKC (if that makes sense).

I absolutely agree their inside scoring needs help. When Perkins is useless offensively and Ibaka needs to be set up to score, you've got nothing inside. Even when Ibaka is at his best, he's shooting jump shots. That's just not going to cut it. Bosh certainly gives Miami that extra bit that makes them very successful.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby wcsoldier81 on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:57 pm

KD best chances at winning the title will be in 2015 and 2016 ( because of our current team plus Wade has 2 seasons left at a high level imo) ... if not Lakers bound
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby jimbo327 on Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:13 am

We are going to destroy OKC next year.

We are going to kill them inside with D12. And then kill them outside with Nash. We are going run the pick and roll to death on them. And on top of that, we still have Kobe and Pau playing at a high level. We need to dump some of our bench, and pick up vets that is going to come here for vet min and can still play.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby Kobe8Fan on Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:48 am

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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby Lakerjones on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:04 am

He's still a little young, IMO. I'm with Phil Jackson on this one. I think players usually hit their prime in their mid-late twenties. 27-28 is total prime. That's when players usually when championships as the main guys on their team.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby nameant on Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:07 am

You can't just enter your prime bc you think you're ready to enter your prime. Dood needs to put in the work to actually be in his prime and be at the top of his game (possibly the NBA). Where's the post game? Where's the muscle? Has your defense improved? Has your passing improved? He's a good scorer but that's all he's been his entire career. Yeah, he's improved at scoring, but what else?
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby XXIV on Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:54 pm

nameant wrote:You can't just enter your prime bc you think you're ready to enter your prime. Dood needs to put in the work to actually be in his prime and be at the top of his game (possibly the NBA). Where's the post game? Where's the muscle? Has your defense improved? Has your passing improved? He's a good scorer but that's all he's been his entire career. Yeah, he's improved at scoring, but what else?


All that you mentioned is exactly what I've been thinking. He's a great scorer, but he needs to improve the other parts of his game in order to join the ranks of the greatest.
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Re: Kevin Durant Ready To Enter Prime Of His Career

Postby lakersStan24 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:50 am

XXIV wrote:
nameant wrote:You can't just enter your prime bc you think you're ready to enter your prime. Dood needs to put in the work to actually be in his prime and be at the top of his game (possibly the NBA). Where's the post game? Where's the muscle? Has your defense improved? Has your passing improved? He's a good scorer but that's all he's been his entire career. Yeah, he's improved at scoring, but what else?


All that you mentioned is exactly what I've been thinking. He's a great scorer, but he needs to improve the other parts of his game in order to join the ranks of the greatest.

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