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Catching Up With Kevin Durant

by Darnell Mayberry Published: September 24, 2011
Kevin Durant has every reason to smile this summer
Kevin Durant has every reason to smile this summer

BATON ROUGE, La. — After spending a day on the set of Kevin Durant’s upcoming movie “Switch” on Friday, today was media day, the day to ask Durant about his movie and any and everything else that’s been up with him this summer.

And that’s a tough job.

Try making a list of questions you’d like to ask Durant. Now try and trim that list to make sure you get the best ones in.

Because you’ve only got 10 minutes. After that, time’s up and you’re being shooed away so the next person on the circuit can come in and do it all over again.

But, we do our best. And all things considered, I actually covered a lot of ground with KD in a one-on-one interview this afternoon. Be sure to pick up The Oklahoman and stay on NewsOK.com in the coming days for a Q&A on a variety of topics. In the meantime, here’s some of the more significant tidbits that emerged from of our chat.

  • On playing overseas, Durant told me today that, for now, he wants to stay here. But that can all change. The uncertainty of the lockout, Durant said, has impacted his decision-making process. But again, for now, Durant is set on staying here. Worth noting that Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Durant’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, says he’s “definitely moving toward with getting a deal consummated with (an overseas team) now that the preseason is canceled.” In that article, Durant also reiterates his support of Russell Westbrook as the Thunder’s point guard.
  • I didn’t talk to KD about this. But while doing a handful of telephone interviews, Durant spoke with Sam Amick of SI.com and addressed the alleged Kendrick Perkins-Russell Westbrook beef. It’s interesting that Durant didn’t say nothing went on. But what he alludes to seems like more of a routine spat. In Monday’s paper, I’ll weigh in with my perceptions of the relationship between Perkins and Westbrook and Sam Presti and Scott Brooks.
  • Here’s something I know every NBA fan in Oklahoma wants to hear. Durant wants to organize a pickup game in Oklahoma City. He plans on bringing in other NBA stars as well as his Thunder teammates. The hold up at this point is finding a venue. But Durant adamantly wants to see it happen. “I want to do it just for the fans of Oklahoma City who haven’t seen us play,” Durant said. He added that if the lockout stretches into late October, he’ll become more aggressive in trying to get it done. I’ll have more on this soon.
  • On his performance so far as an actor, Durant said he feels good about the job he’s done. “I think I’m doing pretty good,” Durant said. “Of course I didn’t think I would be. But everything seems natural.”
  • When I asked Durant about the area of his game that has improved the most this summer he responded without hesitation. He said it was his post game. “I think it’s grown leaps and bounds with me being comfortable down there and having a different array of moves to work with,” Durant said.
  • I’ll mention it here first but in the Q&A, Durant talks about working out with Blake Griffin this summer as the two looked to develop their post and perimeter games. Durant also has worked out with Joe Johnson, which he also discusses. KD’s workouts this summer have also included biking 40 miles a day, which you can read about in the Q&A as well.
  • Durant lit up when talking about the voluntary workouts that took place in Austin, Texas last week. If you haven’t heard, 10 of the Thunder’s 15 players got together for a mini-camp. Durant confirmed that a second gathering, organized by Nazr Mohammed, is planned for Oct. 3 in Lexington, Ky.
  • For everyone who subscribes to ESPN the Magazine (especially Thunder fans) and hated how the publication dedicated its latest issue to Boston sports, I’ve got three words for you. Wait until October. Word on the street is Durant is going to be the cover boy for the Oct. 18 issue. That’s huge for two reasons: 1) it’ll be in the thick of not only baseball’s playoffs but also the NFL regular season, and 2) KD will be the featured NBA player that is serving as the replacement for the mag’s annual NBA preview issue.
  • Of course, I had to get Durant’s reaction to the hysteria that surrounded the world discovering he has tattoos. Durant’s response was nearly identical to my take on it from back in July. So what? A preview of his reaction: “It’s just ink. And I like ink.”
  • KD’s got some new commercials coming soon. He’s scheduled to shoot one next week and another, depending on the lockout, at the end of the month. He was unclear about the concepts because he’s been focusing on his movie. But you can bet they’ll be good. They always are.
  • And finally, I asked Durant about summer school. He’s been so busy that we haven’t heard a word about it. KD says he feels bad his schedule hasn’t allowed it. “I was on a good pace of going back every summer…Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go back.”

-DM-

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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