Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who plays with the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Standing at 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) and weighing 240 pounds (109 kg), he has played the small forward positions for the Thunder, formerly the Seattle SuperSonics. 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 five All-NBA teams and six All-Star teams.
Seattle SuperSonics (2007–08)
Durant was selected second overall in the 2007 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. On October 31 of the following season, he made his professional debut with an 18-point, 5 rebound, and 3 steal performance. 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 Rookie of the Year with averages of 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. He joined Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James as the only teenagers in NBA history to average at least 20 points per game for a season.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)
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.
During the 2009–10 season, Durant was selected to his first 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-ever 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 sports 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 2012 All-Star Game, he scored 36 points and was awarded his first All-Star Game MVP 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 with 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 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. Durant finished the season with final averages of 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. He was the NBA scoring leader for the fourth time in his career and led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 59-23 record and the second seed in the western conference. For his efforts, Durant was named the league's Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career. In the first round of the playoffs, the Thunder fell behind 3–2 to the Grizzlies following a series of inconsistent performances from Durant, prompting The Oklahoman to dub him "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 eventual champion Spurs in the conference finals in six games.
Injury-riddled season (2014–15)
On October 12, 2014, Durant was diagnosed with a fractured right foot after feeling discomfort the day before and was ruled out for 6 to 8 weeks. He went on to miss the first 17 games of the season, and with Russell Westbrook also out for 14 of those 17 games with a fractured hand, the Thunder dropped to a 4-12 record prior to Westbrook's return on November 28 against the New York Knicks. Following Westbrook's return, Durant returned to action the following game on December 2 as he scored 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting in the 104-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. With the duo back to full health, they went on to lead the Thunder on a seven-game winning streak to bring the Thunder back into playoff contention. However, another hick-up to Durant's season occurred on December 18 as he injured his ankle during the second quarter of the streak-breaking 109-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Durant scored 30 points in 18 minutes before going down with the injury. He became the first player in NBA history to have played under 20 minutes in a game and score at least 30 points. Durant subsequently missed the following six games before returning to the court on December 31, 2014, against the Phoenix Suns. He scored a season-high 44 points in the game on 13-of-23 shooting, while adding 10 rebounds and 7 assists, to help the Thunder defeat the Suns in overtime, 137-134. The following game on January 2, 2015, Durant scored 34 points to lead the Thunder to a 109-102 win over Washington, moving their record to 17-17 and a .500 record for the first time this season.
Durant again missed time in late January and early February with another injury, this time a sprained left big toe. He recovered from the injury to score 27 points on February 6 in a 113-116 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Two games later against Denver on February 9, Durant recorded his 43rd career 40-point game in the 124-114 win.
On February 22, Durant was sidelined again after undergoing a minor procedure to help reduce pain and discomfort in his surgically repaired right foot. Having not played since, he was ruled out indefinitely on March 20 after suffering a setback and was subsequently deemed unlikely to return again in 2014–15.
But, he was injured.
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti delivered some somber news on injured superstar Kevin Durant Saturday.
"We're going to remove [Durant] from basketball activities on the floor," Presti said in a press conference. "He's not making the progress we had hoped."
As a result of the news, the reigning MVP is out indefinitely. Once the news broke, online shop Sportsbook.com dropped OKC's NBA Championship chances all the way from 10/1 to 50/1.
The 26-year-old has been sidelined since Feb. 18 with a foot injury.