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Kevin Durant gets his invitation to play ball with the president

Oklahoman Modified: November 7, 2010 at 12:09 am •  Published: November 7, 2010
/articleid/3512179/1/pictures/1235786">Photo - Kevin Durant, left, and Barack Obama
Kevin Durant, left, and Barack Obama
Both had traveled to D.C. to celebrate Durant's birthday, which is Sept. 29 but needed to be enjoyed earlier because of the start of the NBA season. Durant surprised Maynor and Harden with the news that they would be playing hoops with the president.

"It was weird because when he called me he just was like, 'Yo, what's your social security number?'” Maynor remembered.

"I was like, 'Man, what you need my social for?' And he said, 'We're going to the White House tomorrow.'”

Durant and Maynor teamed up with Obama. Harden was matched up against the president, with other White House staffers filling out the teams. They played four or five games of full court five-on-five, according to Maynor, and each team won their share.

"It was exciting just to go out there and play basketball with him,” Harden said of Obama. "He made a couple of shots. He's left-handed so I learned something from him, too. We had a great time. There were a lot of laughs and we had a lot of fun.”

All thanks to Durant.

"To ask us to come, it shows what kind of caring person he is,” Harden said. "He doesn't think about himself all the time. He likes to give back to others and help others.”

But Durant doesn't need to publicize his good deeds.

The Thunder's trio had purposely kept quiet about their outing with Obama.

On his Twitter account on Sept. 18, Harden gave a quick "shout out” to Durant and Maynor. On the same day, Maynor tweeted an elongated "Wowwwww. Lol,” and told upward of 19,000 followers in parenthesis to not ask why. Maynor followed that up with a random but revealing message.

"I love my LIFE!!!!” Maynor wrote.

Until now, those clues were as close as anyone had come to commenting on Durant's consideration.

And that was just the way Durant had wanted it to be.

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