Wanda Pratt wants her son to take a vacation this summer.
Doesn't have to be long.
"I just want him to take two days, three days and just relax," she said.
She knows, after all, how hard he works. The hours are long, and the stress is high. The summer is supposed to be his down time, but he's still waking early and going hard and showing no signs of slowing down.
Kevin Durant doesn't intend to either.
The Thunder superstar is lifting weights a couple of hours every day. Ditto for getting in the gym. He's also taking a summer school class in child, adolescent and adult health at Texas, where he played college basketball, and has a 20-page paper due soon.
This week, he is working the morning and afternoon sessions of his three-day youth basketball camp at Heritage Hall before going to the Thunder's practice facility for workouts.
In a few weeks, he is heading to the USA Basketball national team minicamp.
Hardly sounds like summer vacation.
"It's long days," Durant conceded Tuesday while taking a break from his camp, "but I'm glad I'm doing it. You don't see results overnight. I know if I continue to work hard, it's going to show."
Much has been made in recent days of the players who the Thunder drafted last week, and with the free-agent market now open, much will be made in coming days if the Thunder make any trades or acquire any veterans. But the truth is, none of those players would have any more impact on the team next season than an improved Kevin Durant would.
Barring some unexpected blockbuster trade, nothing is more important for the Thunder this summer than the team's best player getting even better.
Durant is committed to doing just that.
He returned to Austin last month, and for two hours a day, he entrusts himself to the strength and conditioning coaches at Texas. They push him through weights and agility and drills of all kinds.
"There are days where I've sweated through my whole outfit, my whole uniform," Durant said. "That's the kind of days I need."
Durant is also eating better. Eating more, too.
"He's eating himself out of house and home," his mother joked.
The wiry swingman won't be mistaken for Mr. Universe any time soon, but he looks a thicker through the shoulders and broader in the upper body. Considering he averaged 25.3 points and 6.5 rebounds a year ago, Durant doesn't need a total body transformation, but adding a little muscle could be the difference between finishing at the rim or settling for something else.
Durant is working on being able to do more. He is building his body, developing his repertoire and expanding his game. A few days ago, he posted on his Twitter account that he guaranteed another win in the H.O.R.S.E. competition during All-Star Weekend.
The reason: "cuz i got new shots!"
Durant is one of the best players in the league, but that hasn't stopped him from working to get even better.
"Sometimes, he'll do two-a-days, three-a-days," his mother said. "People will be surprised ï¿½ at how hard he works. They said, 'He's so great.'
"Which he is."
"He worked non-stop," she said. "He's still in that mode that he has to in order for him to get better because hard work has proven to him ï¿½ you will get better. He sees that it works.
"But I'm the mom. I'm like, 'You're going to get better if you continue to work hard, but not every day all day.'"
Thing is, Durant wants it no other way.
"For me to become a great player," he said, "I've got to continue to work."
Vacation can wait.