The Story of Kevin Durant's Quest For NBA Glory

Kevin Durant is among the top players in the NBA. In his 8-year career, he’s been a 7- time all-star and 5-time member of the All-NBA First-Team. He is viewed favorably across the league for his incredible talent, and philanthropic activity. His crowning achievement so far in his career was his MVP award, which he won for his performance during the 2013-2014 season. For Durant, there have always been challenges, presenting themselves both on and off the court. It is through his hard work and determination that has made him prevail, but he is fully aware that there are still obstacles to overcome.

This is the story of Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant grew up in Seat Pleasant, Maryland, a poor, crime-dense suburb just outside of Washington D.C. He and his brother were raised by a single mother, Wanda Pratt, bouncing around from home to home. Both Durant’s mother and grandmother were a pivotal support system for him growing up. He wasn’t like other kids in school. Durant didn’t talk much, and had a demeanor that seemed almost too calm. Most of all, he had an incredible passion for the game of basketball. Childhood friend and NBA player Michael Beasley recalled that Durant was lighting games of pickup basketball at 13 against people that were at least five years older than him, and his opponents kept asking who his agent was. Throughout all of the distractions of where he grew up, Durant was solely focused on becoming an NBA player. He spent all of his time improving upon his skills at the Seat Pleasant Recreation Center. Durant continues to get better every day, taking pride in his preparation: “If I’m drenched and soaked and salty from just playing ball all day, that’s the most productive day I’ve had because that’s what I love to do,” Durant said.

Durant ended up playing college basketball at the University of Texas for one year before declaring for the NBA Draft. He was taken second overall by the Seattle Sonics, who were set to relocate to Oklahoma City. Durant went on to be named Rookie of The Year and continued to light up the NBA. In just a few short years, Durant was a part of an incredibly formidable team that seemed destined for a championship. Durant had a flurry of talent around him, joined by fellow All-Stars Russell Westbrook and James Harden. A Thunder team consisting of Durant, Harden, and Westbrook had one appearance in the finals, losing to the Miami Heat lead by LeBron James. James Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets early the next season and has since become the face of their franchise.

The 2013 season was filled with many challenges for the Thunder. A primary problem was an injury to Russell Westbrook, which left him on the bench for nearly half the season. Kevin Durant had to play extra well to keep the Thunder on pace, and his performance peaked under pressure. Durant averaged 32 points per game and won the scoring title for the fourth time. He joined an elite group of players including Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain to win four or more scoring titles. Durant was awarded the NBA MVP award for his incredible year, and in an emotional speech, thanked his mother. “You made us believe, You kept us off the street, put clothes on our back, food on the table, you sacrificed for us.” Durant branded his mother as “The real MVP.”

As good of a season as Durant had, he and his team fell short of winning a title. The Thunder lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. This past season, The Thunder fell short once again when they failed to close out the series after being up 3-1 against the mighty Golden State Warriors.

Durant’s actions on and off the court have gotten him far in life, but the absolute summit for an NBA player is to win a title, which Durant has yet to do. Now that he’s joined the Golden State Warriors, the eyes of NBA fans are even more honed in on them. The expectations for Golden State are now exponentially higher than this previous year where they won more regular season games than anyone in history. One thing that’s certain is that Durant will work even harder to earn his first championship. While he's surrounded himself with 3 other All-Stars, he's not going to let himself slip up. Fans and pundits alike say there are no more excuses for him now. If we've come to know Durant over years, we can assume that he'll continue to work even harder to get some shiny rings on his fingers. “I’ve been second my whole life. I was the second best player in high school, second pick in the NBA draft, I came in second in the finals. I’m tired of being second, I’m not gonna settle for that.”

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