Kevin Durant “KD”
Kevin Durant is one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers of all-time. Standing at 6’10 with a silky shooting touch and a good handle, he is a matchup nightmare. Many people believe that Durant is actually 7 feet tall but is listed as being shorter. Side to side with many of the league’s centers, he is just as tall.
His nickname “KD” originated from his initials (obviously) but it has evolved into his brand. Durant’s signature Nike line of sneakers and clothing are all branded under the name KD. Durant can do it all – dribble, hit pull-up jumpers, post-up, pass, rebound, and defend, making him a threat all over the court
Durant was born in Washington D.C., but eventually committed to the University of Texas to play his college ball for the Longhorns. He stayed in Austin for one year before heading to the NBA and becoming the 2nd overall pick for the Seattle Supersonics in the 2007 NBA Draft.
KD was a force to be reckoned with from the get-go. In his very first NBA game at the age of 19, Durant put up 18 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. In fact, he hasn’t averaged below 25 points per game since his rookie season, as one of the NBA’s most lethal scorers year in and year out. His size allows him to play excellent defense as well, as he is agile enough to defend guards but tall enough to size up with many centers and big men around the rim.
After his rookie season, the Supersonics relocated and became the Oklahoma City Thunder, and this is where Durant spent the majority of his career so far. He and Russell Westbrook were one of the leagues’ most dynamic duos. They took the Thunder to the playoffs in 6 of Durant’s 8 seasons there, and made it the NBA Finals once, losing to the LeBron James-led Miami Heat in 2012. Growing frustrated with not being able to win a championship in OKC, Durant decided to become a free agent in 2016.
After spending some time reflecting on his options, Durant wound up choosing to sign with the Golden State Warriors, a team who finished 73-9 the year before he arrived. The Warriors went on to win the championship their first year with Durant, and they were nearly impossible to guard after adding him to a rotation with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala among others. In his three seasons in Golden State, the Warriors won two championships in dominant fashion, and both times Durant was named Finals MVP.
Durant is now coming up on his 14th year in the NBA. Don’t be confused though, if he comes back from injury even close to the player he was before, he will still be an elite performer. At age 32, Durant was hurt this past season, but when he returns it will mark the beginning of a new era for him, after signing with the Brooklyn Nets to play with Kyrie Irving. Will Durant be able to lead the Brooklyn Nets to the NBA Finals like he did with his prior teams?
Achievements and Awards:
Durant has endless accolades and achievements; he has already established himself as one of the best players ever. In his rookie season he won Rookie of the Year, and hasn’t looked back since. KD has made the NBA All-Star Game 10 times, won 2 NBA championships, won the MVP award with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and made the All-NBA First Team 6 times. He also has won the NBA Scoring Champion title 4 times and in 2013, became a part of the historic 50% field goal, 40% 3-point, and 90% free throw percentage club. Only 7 other players have ever done this in NBA history.
Durant is not just an NBA champion. He also played a key role in securing the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympic gold medal for team USA. The 2012 USA team is considered by many to be the 2nd best Olympic team ever, behind the historic 1992 Dream Team.
His former number 35 has already been retired by his alma mater and it may be once he has retired in the NBA, for the Thunder and perhaps the Warriors. It will be extremely interesting to watch the rest of KD’s career play out. He currently sits at 26th in NBA all-time scoring rankings, will he be in the top 5 when it’s all said and done? How many more championships will he win, if any? Only time will tell.