Kevin Durant

Adam Orozco, Writer ; Photographer

As the warriors take on the Houston Rockets in the 2018 Western Conference Finals, the consistent and aggressive Kevin Durant continues to dominate for the Golden State Warriors. Looking to win their 2nd consecutive championship, Durant has put up monster statistics throughout the playoffs. He is their leader.

Kevin Wayne Durant was born in Suitland, Maryland, a town just outside of Washington, D.C. to Wanda and Wayne Pratt. Being raised mostly by his mom and grandma in a tough part of Maryland, Durant grew up loving basketball as he’d play sports alongside his three siblings.

Despite being praised for his height and lengthy body in the NBA, as a child schoolmates would regularly tease him about his height. He stood at 6’0 in middle school and only kept growing. He eventually joined the local AAU team named PG Jaguars, where he quickly gained success. The team won two national championships during his tenure with the team. During that time, he also started wearing No.35 after his AAU coach and mentor, Charles Craig was murdered at the age of 35.

As he played for two local high schools in Maryland, Durant became a household name. In a short span, he also grew seven inches and stood at 6’9. Dominating on the court also earned him attention from most major college basketball teams. After his senior year, he was named USA Today’s “First team All-American” list and Parade magazine’s “First Team” list and MVP of the 2006 McDonald’s All-American game.

Despite receiving offers from top NCAA Division 1 programs, Durant signed with the University of Texas Longhorns. He started in every game during his freshman year and excelled, averaging 25.8 points and 11 rebounds. He scored 20-plus points 30 out of the 35 games that season, being named Consensus National College Player of the Year. He ultimately decided to enter the 2007 NBA draft.

Durant was drafted 2nd overall by the Seattle SuperSonics. He quickly became dominate, as he was named “Rookie of the Year” in the 07-08 season. After the team relocated from Seattle to become the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, Durant continued to thrive with new teammate Russell Westbrook as they became an All-star combination.

As he became the face of the franchise in Oklahoma City, he was named the NBA Scoring Champion three times in a row, made the All-Star game every year since 2010, and became the reason the Thunder made deep playoffs runs including a 2012 NBA finals appearance versus arguably one of the best teams ever assembled in the Miami Heat and put up a fight but lost in game five.

During the 13-14 season, Durant averaged 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game as he won NBA MVP and broke many records along the way. He also became a role model in the community.

His 2014-16 season was plagued with injuries and inconsistencies. He still managed to average 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5 assist during the 2015 season. Being the 3 seed in the Western Conference Finals, the thunder were up 3-1 versus the Golden state warriors but managed to lose the series. It was the breaking point for Durant as he became a free agent and signed with the warriors in the offseason.

Despite the hate from across the league, he did what was best for him and his career. He joined one of the greatest shooting backcourts in history and immediately fit in. Warriors finished with a record of 67-15 and the #1 seed in the West Conference. They dominated the Western Conference sweeping all opponents with ease. In the finals, Durant took over the series averaging 35.2 points and 8.4 rebounds and winning the championship. He was awarded Finals MVP. In the 2018 season, Durant is dominating in the playoffs and the Warriors are looking to earn their third championship in four years.

As he tries to earn another NBA championship with the Warriors, Durant is a player with hall of fame talent. He hasn’t reached his full potential and is already being compared to some of the all-time greats. Even though he has received much criticism throughout the years, the sky is limit for Durant and us as spectators should truly appreciate his legacy.