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Thunder’s Kevin Durant Evolving His Game And Marketability

The NBA is in good hands with guys like Kevin Durant, one of the top players in the game but probably one of the most humble people you will ever see. In this fantastic feature by Sam Amick on USA Today, there’s a variety of topics the article touches on, including the evolving of Durant’s game, his marketability, Larry Bird, and Russell Westbrook.

Kevin Durant is all about the game. It’s not about big markets or small markets. He just loves basketball.

“My game, I just want it to keep evolving,” Durant told USA TODAY Sports. “I’ve been more focused on being a better leader, and that’s just getting everything I can out of everybody on the floor…That’s the stuff that ignites me. I know the importance of winning, and I know what it takes to win.”

And he mentioned that he likes to watch an NBA legend that many people never thought of comparing him to.

“Larry Bird is a guy I like watching,” Durant said with a smile. “I watch film on him all the time. I like his approach to the game when he was playing. When I first started playing the game, my Godfather Taras Brown – who taught me how to play – he always was a Larry Bird guy, always used to look up his stats.”

He has made it known that he wants to hit that 50-40-90 plateau: 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the three-point line, and 90 percent from the foul line. He wants to be as efficient as he can be on the basketball court.

“That’s something I want do, something I’m chasing,” he admitted. “That’s being efficient, taking good shots, taking what the defense gives you, not forcing…That’s what I want to do. I just want to grow in that area.”

And, of course, the subject of Russell Westbrook came about. Some media wants them to have conflict or, even worse, have a feud so bad they’d go their separate ways. Durant scoffs at all of that.

“When he was getting killed (by the public last season), he was averaging 25 and eight, 24 and five and five,” Durant said. “What are we arguing about? What, that I ain’t taking more shots? If I take more shots, then what are you gonna call me? What do you want me to do, man?

“I’ve learned to just say, ‘Man, some people just don’t know what they’re talking about.’ Some people are going to love you, some people are going to hate you. So what? We need Russell to do what he does. We made it to the Finals that way, were three games away from winning a championship.”

Kevin Durant is definitely one of a kind. He’s humble yet competitive. He’s nice yet he’d rip your heart out on the basketball court. And whether he’s in a big market or a small market, he proved that with talent and performance come all the endorsements and accolades. He doesn’t have to chase those companies; the companies will come chasing him.

He wants to keep getting better, as evidenced by what we’ve all seen this year. His scoring is a little down at 26.5 points per game but he has career highs on nearly every major category. He’s shooting .514 from the field, an incredible .455 from behind the arc, and .903 from the foul line (there’s 50-40-90 right there). He’s also averaging 8.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.6 blocks. Durant is better defensively, on rebounding, and on ball-handling. All of this and he’s only 24 years old. It’s scary how much better he can become.

Read the piece on USA Today and you can get a better grasp on what Durant is all about. He truly is one special player and, even better, a special person.

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Rey Moralde is a Southern California native who has a passion for basketball, old-school video games, sushi, and terrible pop music.

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