Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college basketball for the University of Texas, and was selected as the second overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2007 NBA draft. He played nine seasons in Oklahoma City before signing with Golden State in 2016, winning back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018.
Durant was a heavily recruited high school prospect who was widely regarded as the second-best player in his class. In college, he won numerous year-end awards and became the first freshman to be named Naismith College Player of the Year. As a professional, he has won two NBA championships, an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, two Finals MVP Awards, two NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Awards, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and two Olympic gold medals. Durant has also been selected to nine All-NBA teams and ten NBA All-Star teams.
Off the court, Durant is one of the highest-earning basketball players in the world, due in part to endorsement deals with companies such as Foot Locker and Nike. He has developed a reputation for philanthropy and regularly leads the league in All-Star votes and jersey sales. In recent years, he has contributed to The Players' Tribune as both a photographer and writer. In 2012, he ventured into acting, appearing in the film Thunderstruck.
Durant was born on September 29, 1988, in Washington, D.C., to Wanda (née Durant) and Wayne Pratt. When Durant was an infant, his father deserted the family; Wanda and Wayne eventually divorced, and Durant's grandmother Barbara Davis helped raise him. By age 13, his father reentered his life and traveled the country with him to basketball tournaments. Durant has a sister, Brianna, and two brothers, Tony and Rayvonne.
Durant and his siblings grew up in Prince George's County, Maryland, on the eastern outskirts of Washington, D.C. He was unusually tall from a young age, and reached 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) in height while still in middle school (age 13–14). Growing up, Durant wanted to play for his favorite team, the Toronto Raptors, which included his favorite player, Vince Carter. He played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for several teams in the Maryland area and was teammates with future NBA players Michael Beasley, Greivis Vásquez, and Ty Lawson, the first of whom Durant remains friends with to this day. During this time, he began wearing #35 as his jersey number in honor of his AAU coach, Charles Craig, who was murdered at the age of 35.
After playing two years of high school basketball at National Christian Academy and one year at Oak Hill Academy, Durant transferred to Montrose Christian School for his senior year, growing 5 inches (13 cm) before the start of the season and beginning the year at 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m). Prior to the start of the season, he committed to the University of Texas. At the end of the year, he was named the Washington Post All-Met Basketball Player of the Year, as well as the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 McDonald's All-American Game. He was widely regarded as the second-best high school prospect of 2006.
For the 2006–07 college season, Durant—who had grown to 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)—averaged 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game for the Texas Longhorns as a student at the University of Texas. The Longhorns finished the year with a 25–10 record overall and a 12–4 record in conference. Awarded a fourth seed in the NCAA Tournament, Texas won their first round match-up against New Mexico State but were upset in the second round by USC despite a 30-point and 9-rebound performance from Durant. For his outstanding play, Durant was recognized as the unanimous national player of the year, winning the John R. Wooden Award, the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, and all eight other widely recognized honors and awards. This made Durant the first freshman to win any of the national player of the year awards. Following the season, he declared for the NBA draft. His #35 jersey was later retired by the Longhorns.
Seattle SuperSonics (2007–2008)
Durant was selected as the second overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. In his first regular season game, the 19-year-old Durant registered 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals against the Denver Nuggets. On November 16, he made the first game-winning shot of his career in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. At the conclusion of the season, he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year behind averages of 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. He joined Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James as the only teenagers in league history to average at least 20 points per game over an entire season.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–2016)
Following Durant's debut season, the SuperSonics relocated from Seattle to Oklahoma City, becoming the Thunder and switching to new colors – blue, orange, and yellow. The team also drafted UCLA guard Russell Westbrook, who would form an All-Star combination with Durant in later years. At the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend, Durant set a Rookie Challenge record with 46 points. By the conclusion of the year, he had raised his scoring average by five points from the prior season to 25.3 points per game, and was considered a strong candidate for the Most Improved Player Award, eventually finishing third in the voting. Durant continued to grow during his first few years in the NBA, finally reaching a height of 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m).
During the 2009–10 season, Durant was selected to his first NBA All-Star Game. Behind his play, the Thunder improved their record by 27 wins from the previous year and defied expectations to make the playoffs. With a scoring average of 30.1 points per game, he became the youngest NBA scoring champion and was selected to his first All-NBA team. In his playoff debut, he scored 24 points in a Game 1 loss against the Los Angeles Lakers. Oklahoma City would go on to lose the series in six games, but the team's performance led many analysts to label them as an upcoming title contender.
Deep playoff runs (2010–13)
Prior to the start of the 2010–11 season, Durant announced via Twitter that he had signed a five-year contract extension with the Thunder worth approximately $86 million. For the second consecutive year, he led the NBA in scoring, averaging 27.7 points a game. Behind his leadership, the Thunder won 55 games and earned the fourth seed in the Western Conference. In the playoffs, Oklahoma City defeated the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies en route to a Conference Finals match-up versus the Dallas Mavericks, losing in five games.
On February 19 of the lockout-shortened 2011–12 season, Durant recorded his first career 50-point game, scoring 51 points against the Denver Nuggets. At the All-Star Game, he scored 36 points and was awarded the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. He finished the year with a scoring average of 28 points per game, representing his third straight scoring title. Behind his play, the Thunder won 47 games and entered the playoffs as the Western Conference's second seed. In Game 1 of the first round against the Mavericks, Durant hit a game-winner with 1.5 seconds remaining. Oklahoma City would go on to defeat Dallas, the Lakers, and the San Antonio Spurs before losing to the Miami Heat in the Finals. For the NBA Finals, Durant led all players with 30.6 points per game, doing so on a 54.8 shooting rate.
With a scoring average of 28.1 points per game to finish the 2012–13 season, Durant failed to defend his scoring title; however, with a 51 percent shooting rate, a 41.6 percent three point shooting rate, and a 90.5 free throw shooting rate, he became the youngest player in NBA history to join the 50–40–90 club. Finishing the year with a 60–22 record, Oklahoma City earned the first seed in the Western Conference. In the first round of the playoffs against the Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook tore his meniscus, forcing him to miss the remainder of the postseason. Without Westbrook, Durant was given more responsibility, averaging a career-high 30.8 points per game throughout the playoffs, but Oklahoma City were eventually eliminated in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies in five games.
MVP season (2013–14)
In January of the 2013–14 season, Durant averaged 35.9 points per game while scoring 30 or more points in 12 straight games, including a career-high 54 points against the Golden State Warriors. In April, he surpassed Michael Jordan's record for consecutive games scoring 25 points or more at 41. The Thunder finished the year with 59 wins and Durant was voted the NBA Most Valuable Player behind averages of 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. To begin the first round of the playoffs, he struggled against the physical play of the Grizzlies, converting on only 24 percent of his field goals in Game 4. Through five games, the Thunder trailed the series 3–2, prompting The Oklahoman to dub Durant "Mr. Unreliable". He responded by scoring 36 points in a Game 6 victory. Oklahoma City eventually eliminated Memphis and the Los Angeles Clippers before losing to the Spurs in the Conference Finals in six games.
Final seasons with the Thunder (2014–16)
Prior to the start of the 2014–15 season, Durant was diagnosed with a Jones fracture in his right foot and was ruled out for six to eight weeks. He subsequently missed the first 17 games of the year, making his season debut for the Thunder on December 2 against the New Orleans Pelicans. On December 18, he injured his ankle against the Golden State Warriors, returning to action on December 31 against the Phoenix Suns to score a season-high 44 points. He then sprained his left big toe in late January. On February 22, he was sidelined again after undergoing a minor procedure to help reduce pain and discomfort in his surgically repaired right foot, and on March 27, he was officially ruled out for the rest of the season after deciding to undergo foot surgery. In just 27 games, he averaged 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game.
To begin the 2015–16 season, Durant and Russell Westbrook reached several historical milestones together, including becoming the first pair of teammates to each score at least 40 points in a single game since 1996, doing so in a win over the Orlando Magic on October 30. On April 11, Durant scored 34 points against the Lakers, setting an NBA record for consecutive games scoring 20 or more points with 64. For the year, Durant averaged 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game, leading the Thunder to 55 wins and the third seed in the West. In Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs against the Mavericks, he scored 21 points but converted only 7 out of 33 shots in the worst postseason shooting performance, both by percentage and number of misses, of his career. After defeating Dallas, Oklahoma City moved on to face the Spurs in the second round, falling behind 2–1 to start the series. In Game 4, Durant tied his playoff career high with 41 points in a Thunder win. Oklahoma City eventually defeated the Spurs in six games, drawing a matchup with the record-setting 73-win Golden State Warriors in the Conference Finals. Despite going up 3–1, the Thunder were ousted in seven games, with Durant providing 27 points in Game 7.
Golden State Warriors (2016–present)
2016 free agency
On July 4, Durant announced his intentions to sign with the Warriors in The Players' Tribune. The move was received negatively by the public and NBA analysts, with many comparing it to LeBron James's 2010 off-season departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Heat. On July 7, Durant officially signed with Golden State on a two-year, $54.3 million contract with a player option after the first year. Reflecting on the move for Sports Illustrated, Ben Golliver wrote, "He chose an ideal roster fit and a shot at playing for the highest-scoring offense the NBA has seen in decades. He chose life alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the greatest shooting backcourt in history, and he chose to go against Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green, two elite defenders, in practices rather than in Western Conference finals games."
Back-to-back championships (2016–18)
Durant made his debut for the Warriors on October 25 against the San Antonio Spurs, scoring a team-high 27 points in a blowout loss. On November 26, he recorded 28 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and a career-high six blocked shots in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, becoming the first player in team history to finish with at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks in a single game. On February 11, in his first game back in Oklahoma City since leaving for Golden State, Durant scored 34 points while being booed throughout the night as he helped the Warriors defeat the Thunder for the third time that year. In March, Durant suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise, which forced him to miss the final 19 games of the season. Golden State finished the year with a 67–15 record and entered the playoffs as the first seed.
Durant returned from injury in time for the playoffs and helped the Warriors advance to their third consecutive Finals, while also becoming the first team in league history to start the postseason 12–0. In Game 1 of the series, Durant had 38 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists to lead the Warriors past LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Durant then helped the Warriors go up 3–0 in the series with a 31-point effort in Game 3, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 45.3 seconds left in regulation. In Game 5, he scored 39 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists in a series-clinching win. For the Finals, Durant was the Golden State's top scorer in every game, averaging 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists while shooting 55.5 percent from the field, 47.4 percent from three-point range, and 92.7 percent from the free throw line. He was subsequently named the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
After the Finals, Durant declined his $27.7 million player option and became an unrestricted free agent. On July 25, he re-signed with the Warriors for less money than the maximum, which helped the franchise create enough salary cap space to keep their core roster intact and add free agents. On January 10 of the 2017–18 season, Durant scored 40 points in a loss to the Clippers, becoming the second-youngest player in league history to reach the 20,000-point milestone. On January 23, he registered a career-high 14 assists in a win over the New York Knicks. On February 14, he scored a season-high 50 points in a loss to the Trail Blazers. In March, he missed games with a fractured rib, joining teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the sidelines for the back-end of the season. Golden State eventually finished the year with 58 wins and Durant set a career high for blocks in season with 119.
In Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, Durant scored 37 points in a win over the higher-seeded Houston Rockets. Through six games, the Warriors found themselves trailing 3–2, and Durant was criticized for contributing to Golden State's struggles by playing too much in isolation. The Warriors staved off elimination in Game 6, and in Game 7, Durant scored 34 points, helping Golden State return to the Finals with a series-clinching victory. In Game 3 of the Finals, Durant recorded a playoff career-high 43 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists in a win over the Cavaliers, leading the Warriors to a 3–0 advantage. Golden State ultimately swept Cleveland and clinched a second straight championship; with averages of 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists, Durant also won his second Finals MVP Award.
On July 7, 2018, Durant re-signed with the Warriors, on a reported two-year, $61.5 million contract, which included a player option for the second year. On November 29, 2018, Durant scored a season-high 51 points in a 131–128 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors, thus scoring 40 or more in his third straight game. With Stephen Curry and Draymond Green sidelined for most of November, the Warriors finished the month with a 15–8 record and five straight road losses, after starting the season at 10–1. In Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs, he scored a playoff career-high 45 points in a 129–121 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. In Game 6, he set a new playoff career high with 50 points in a 129–110 win to close out the series. During Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets, Durant suffered a right calf strain, subsequently missing Game 6, in which the Warriors won the series, as well as the entire Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, which the Warriors won in a four-game sweep. After missing nine games with the strained right calf, Durant returned to action in Game 5 of the 2019 finals against Toronto, and scored 11 points in the first quarter. However, he was lost for the game two minutes into the second quarter when he tried to drive by former teammate Serge Ibaka and suffered an Achilles tendon injury, falling and grabbing his lower right calf. He limped off the court and was helped to the locker room. The Warriors won the game to cut the Raptors' series lead to 3–2. The Warriors went on the lose the NBA Finals in Game 6, ending their quest for a three-peat.
National team career
In February 2007, Durant received an invitation to the United States national team training camp. Despite a strong performance, he was cut from the team when its roster was trimmed to its twelve-player limit. Coach Mike Krzyzewski cited the experience of the remaining players as the deciding factor in making the cut. Durant was finally selected to the national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and became their leader as other All-Stars were unavailable, a role he downplayed. At the tournament, he led Team USA to its first FIBA World Championship since 1994, earning tournament MVP honors in the process. His final averages for the competition were 22.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in nine games.
At the 2012 Olympics, Durant set the record for total points scored in an Olympic basketball tournament. With averages of 19.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, he helped the national team go undefeated en route to a gold medal. In the tournament's final game, he led all scorers with 30 points.
Less than a month before the start of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Durant announced that he would be dropping out of the competition, citing mental and physical exhaustion as reasons for his departure. He rejoined Team USA in 2016 for the Olympics, where he led them to a gold medal. In recognition of his performances, Durant was named the 2016 co-USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year, along with Carmelo Anthony, for the second time in his career.
Though Durant's height is officially listed as 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m), he has stated that he actually stands 6 ft 10 3⁄4 in (2.10 m) barefoot and 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) with shoes. His primary position is small forward and his career averages are 27.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. Widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation, Durant has earned All-NBA honors eight times (2009–14, 2016–18) and was voted Rookie of the Year in his debut season. He has also won an MVP Award and finished second in the voting three times, a trend that he has expressed frustration over.
Durant is best known for his prodigious scoring ability. From 2010 to 2014, he won four scoring titles, becoming one of only two players to win four scoring titles in a five-year span. Early in his career, his playing style was isolation-driven, but he quickly developed into an excellent off-ball player who was capable of scoring from the outside as well. By 2013, he was shooting at a historically-great clip, which helped him become one of only seven members of the 50–40–90 club. This ability to impact the offense in a variety of ways helped Durant remain effective and improve an already elite offense upon joining the Warriors in 2016. Throughout his career, his height and 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) wingspan have created matchup problems for defenses as he is able to get off a clean shot regardless of the situation. Upon beating his man or gaining momentum, he also becomes a strong finisher at the rim; for example, he converted 72.2% of shots in the paint in 2012.
Early in Durant's career, he was criticized for his slim build, defense, and passing. Over time, he grew as a playmaker, increasing his assist numbers every year from 2010 to 2014, though his overall vision still lagged behind the league's best passers'. He also showed defensive improvement, with opponents averaging just .62 points per isolation play against him in 2014, the best success rate for defensive players who faced at least 100 isolations that season. Upon going to Golden State, he developed into a more reliable off-ball defender and rim protector, and in 2018 was considered for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Off the court
Durant is very close with his mother, Wanda, a relationship that was detailed in the Lifetime movie The Real MVP: The Wanda Pratt Story. During his time with the Thunder, Durant described himself as a "high school kid" who enjoys playing video games in his spare time. A Christian, Durant has religious tattoos on his stomach, wrist, and back. He owns several properties in the Oklahoma City area and listed his primary residence, located in the affluent Club Villa neighborhood, for sale for $1.95 million in 2013. That same year, he opened a restaurant, KD's Southern Cuisine, in the Bricktown neighborhood and briefly became engaged to Monica Wright, a WNBA player. In 2016, he was a credentialed photographer for The Players' Tribune at Super Bowl 50.
Durant was formerly represented by agents Aaron Goodwin and Rob Pelinka. He left Pelinka in 2013 and signed with the Roc Nation group, headed by Jay-Z. Durant has endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Panini, General Electric, and 2K Sports. In 2012, he tried his hand at acting, appearing in the children's film Thunderstruck. In 2013, he earned $35 million, making him the fourth-highest-earning basketball player that year. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Durant claimed that, despite his high earnings potential, "global marketing and all that stuff" does not interest him.
One of the most popular players in the league, Durant's jersey regularly ranks as one of the NBA's best-selling and he is consistently one of the top All-Star vote-getters. Early in his career, he developed a reputation for his kind demeanor; in 2013, Foot Locker released a series of commercials calling him the "nicest guy in the NBA", and become a beloved figure in Oklahoma City, known for his "nice escapades" toward the Thunder's staff. In 2014, he partnered with KIND snacks and launched StrongAndKind.com to show "being kind is not a sign of weakness." Since joining the Warriors, he has become more outspoken and controversial; for example, he was involved in a Twitter back-and-forth with C.J. McCollum in July 2018. Durant has admitted to feeling more genuine in Golden State as opposed to Oklahoma City, where he was "just trying to please everybody".
Throughout his career, Durant has participated in philanthropic causes. In 2013, he pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross for the victims of the 2013 Moore tornado. His generosity inspired the Thunder and Nike to match his donation. He is also a spokesperson for the Washington, D. C. branch of P'Tones Records, a nationwide non-profit after-school music program.
In 2017, Durant became involved with YouTube. In February, he visited YouTube's headquarters for a speaking engagement. On April 7, 2017, he created a YouTube account and soon began to upload live stream vlogs onto it. In his first vlog, he detailed, "I'm so excited because I got off social media. I got off the Instagram, Twitter, all that stuff, just to distance myself a bit. But somebody talked me into getting on the YouTube." As of February 2019, Durant's YouTube channel has received over 700,000 subscribers and 29 million video views. On February 13, 2018, Deadline reported that Durant, in partnership with producer Brian Grazer's Imagine Television, will create a basketball-themed scripted drama for Apple.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Durant won an NBA championship|
|*||Led the league|
Awards and honors
- Cited from Basketball Reference's Kevin Durant page unless noted otherwise.
- NBA champion: 2017, 2018
- NBA Finals Most Valuable Player: 2017, 2018
- NBA Most Valuable Player: 2014
- 10× NBA All-Star: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- 6× All-NBA First Team: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2018
- 3× All-NBA Second Team: 2016, 2017, 2019
- 4× NBA scoring champion: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
- 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2012, 2019
- NBA Rookie of the Year: 2008
- NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2008
- NBA Rookie Challenge MVP: 2009
United States National Team
- Cited from USA Basketball's Kevin Durant page unless noted otherwise.
- Olympic gold medalist: 2012, 2016
- FIBA World Cup gold medalist: 2010
- FIBA World Cup Most Valuable Player: 2010
- Naismith College Player of the Year: 2007
- NABC Division I Player of the Year: 2007
- AP Player of the Year: 2007
- AP All-America 1st Team: 2007
- Oscar Robertson Trophy: 2007
- Adolph Rupp Trophy: 2007
- John R. Wooden Award: 2007
- Big 12 Player of the Year: 2007
- USBWA National Freshman of the Year: 2007
- List of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career 3-point scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career free throw scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff scoring leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff turnovers leaders
- List of National Basketball Association career playoff 3-point scoring leaders
- Durant has stated that he stands 6 ft 10 3⁄4 in (2.10 m) barefoot and 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) with shoes.
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