Kevin Durant

Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Durant has won an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and an Olympic gold medal. He has also been selected to six All-NBA teams and seven All-Star teams.

Durant was a heavily recruited high school prospect. He played one season of college basketball for the University of Texas, where he won numerous year-end awards and became the first ever freshman to be named Naismith College Player of the Year. In the 2007 NBA draft, he was selected with the second overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics. In his first career game, he 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. After his rookie season, the team relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.

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.[39][40] For the second consecutive year, he led the NBA in scoring, averaging 27.7 points a game.[41] 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 his first 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 series, 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.

Durant helped lead Oklahoma City to the 2012 NBA Finals, losing to the Miami Heat in five games.

He played nine seasons for the Thunder organization before joining the Warriors in 2016.

On July 4, 2016, Durant announced his intentions to sign with the Golden State Warriors in a Players’ Tribune piece titled “My Next Chapter.” The move was received negatively by the public and NBA analysts, with many comparing the move to LeBron James’s 2010 off-season departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. On July 7, he officially signed with the Warriors on a two-year, $54.3 million contract with a player option after the first year.

On October 25, Durant made his debut for the Warriors in their season opener against the San Antonio Spurs. In 36 minutes of action, he recorded a team-high 27 points and 10 rebounds in a 129–100 loss. Three days later, he recorded 30 points and 17 rebounds (one shy of his career high) in a 122–114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. In his third game for Golden State on October 30, he had a 37-point outing in a 106–100 win over the Phoenix Suns. On November 3, he matched his career high with seven three-pointers and scored 39 points in a 122–96 win over his former team, the Thunder. With 22 points against the Pelicans on November 7, Durant had at least 20 points for his 71st straight game, matching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the fifth-longest streak in NBA history. He increased that streak to 72 games with at least 20 points on November 9 against the Mavericks, tying Michael Jordan for the fourth-longest streak ever. The streak ended the following day when he scored 18 points in a win against the Denver Nuggets. On November 26, he recorded 28 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and a career-high six blocked shots in a 115–102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was the Warriors’ first time ever having someone finish with at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five blocks. Two days later, he was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, November 21 through Sunday, November 27. Durant helped Golden State to a 4–0 week behind averages of 24.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.75 blocked shots per game. On December 1, he matched his season high with 39 points to go with 13 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks in a 132–127 double overtime loss to the Houston Rockets. On December 28, he had 22 points, matched his season best with 17 rebounds, and added seven assists and five blocks in a 121–111 win over the Toronto Raptors. Two days later, he recorded his eighth career triple-double (his first since joining the Warriors) with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 108–99 win over the Mavericks. On January 18, 2017, he set a new season high with 40 points in a 121–100 win over the Thunder. On February 2, 2017, he was named Co-Western Conference Player of the Month for January alongside teammate Stephen Curry. On February 11, in his first game back in Oklahoma City, Durant scored 34 points while being booed throughout the night, as he helped the Warriors defeat the Thunder for the third time in 2016–17 with a 130–114 win. The Thunder crowd jeered him loudly during pregame warmups, starter introductions, and whenever he touched the ball. On March 1, he was ruled out indefinitely after suffering a Grade 2 MCL sprain and a tibial bone bruise the previous night against the Washington Wizards. On April 8, after missing 19 games with the knee injury, Durant returned to action and had 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a 123–101 win over the Pelicans. The Warriors finished the regular season with a 67–15 record and entered the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. Over the 62 games in which he played, Durant averaged career highs in field goal percentage (.537), rebounds (8.3) and blocks per game (1.6), and a career low in turnovers per game (2.2).

Durant’s 29 points and 12 rebounds in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs led to a 129–115 victory that saw the Warriors advance to the NBA Finals for a third straight year while becoming the first team in league history to start the playoffs 12–0.nIn Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals, Durant had 38 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to lead Golden State past LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, 113–91. He 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 the game.[113] In Game 5 of the series, he scored 39 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists in the series-clinching 129–120 win at Oracle Arena to wrap up a 4–1 series win over the Cavaliers. He was the Warriors’ top scorer in every game of the Finals, 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 winner of the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award, receiving all 11 votes from the panel of voters for the award.

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Career highlights and awards
NBA champion (2017)
NBA Finals MVP (2017)
NBA Most Valuable Player (2014)
8× NBA All-Star (2010–2017)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (2012)
5× All-NBA First Team (2010–2014)
2× All-NBA Second Team (2016, 2017)
4× NBA scoring champion (2010–2012, 2014)
NBA Rookie of the Year (2008)
NBA Rookie Challenge MVP (2009)
50–40–90 club (2013)
National college player of the year (2007)
Consensus first-team All-American (2007)
Big 12 Player of the Year (2007)
No. 35 retired by the University of Texas
FIBA World Championship MVP (2010)
2× USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2010, 2016)
McDonald’s All-American Game MVP (2007)

 

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