The knock on Kevin Durant since forever has been he is too thin.
His light frame has made him a target of stronger, more physical defenders, and because the Thunder's star forward was born scrawny, he simply hasn't had adequate strength to counter those bulldog defenders.
Critics have gone after Durant for years, each season claiming he needs to get stronger even in spite of his scoring prowess. It's been a justifiable critique seeing as how Durant easily gets pushed off his spot when fighting for position and frequently must drift well beyond the 3-point line to receive a clean entry pass.
But Durant's body is changing.
That much was evident when he walked across the court at the team's old training facility and into a small theater room where a crowd of media members waited.
From his lower body, through his midsection on up to where it's as clear as ever — his upper body — Durant has bulked up. As with everything else that defines his skills, Durant isn't overly interested in discussing the matter. That he said as much as he did hints that he has indeed gotten stronger and is darn proud of it.
“I hope so,” Durant said when told he looks bigger and asked if he got stronger over the offseason. “I guess we'll know when we start banging during the season. But I feel a little bigger, and coach is going to put me down low a little bit more at the 4, so I've got to be stronger to guard those guys. I'm just looking forward to doing as much as I can to help this team.”
Last season, Durant entered training camp at 235 pounds. He deemed it “a big thing” for him to have gained 20 pounds since he entered the league in 2007. This year, his body appears to have filled out even more. But there was nothing special, Durant said, that was done this summer.
“I guess I'm just getting older, man, because I was working out the same,” Durant said. “I've been doing it for the last five summers. I just got to keep going, man. I can't stop during the season as far as weightlifting is concerned. I just got to stick with it and hopefully I'll just keep getting stronger.”
Durant has admitted that throughout his career he's had trouble keeping the weight he adds over the summer. But now that he's 24, he's optimistic he will now be more capable of maintaining his muscle.
“Yeah, I think I've passed (that point). Hopefully I've passed it,” Durant said. “The season is long. We have so many games, and you're playing 40 minutes, so sometimes it's tough to keep that weight on. But I have to do it, and I make a conscious effort to always eat right and take care of my body and do the things I need to do to keep that weight on.”