Humble and unassuming since he arrived in the NBA five years ago, Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant is beginning to speak up for himself.
Though still 23 years old until Sept. 29, the Thunder’s three-time All-Star said he considers himself an essential element of the NBA’s present rather than its future.
“I’ve heard a few times, ‘In three or four years, this league is going to be yours.’ … I don’t like that, because I think I’m established now. My time is now,” Durant told Michael Lee of the Washington Post. “I feel as though I’ve proved myself these last five years that I can be one of the top players in the league. I’ve got a long way to go to being the ultimate best, but I think my time is now. And I’m starting to enter my prime.”
Durant has accomplished many things at a young age, the most recent starring as himself in the movie “Thunderstruck,” which hit theaters on Friday.
The NBA’s three-time scoring champ and 2007-08 rookie of the year added an Olympic gold medal to his trophy case this summer, leading unbeaten Team USA in London while setting an Olympic tournament record in total points with 156 (19.5 ppg).
Durant said he felt he has belonged in the discussion of the league’s best since playing in the 2011 All-Star Game inLos Angeles, but never stated so publicly. “I don’t like to talk about myself, but I had to get that out there,” Durant said.
Durant’s confidence grew even more during the Olympics when he was teammates alongside LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and others.
“I always felt that I belonged on top with those guys and I just have to continue to keep working to maintain that,” Durant told Lee. “It feels good to be a part of a great group of guys, to do something special for the country. We all respected each other and they never looked at me as the younger guy coming up and waiting his turn. They were just, ‘Go out there and play, do what you do.’ And that’s what I did.”
As for venturing into Hollywood, Durant credited his mother, Wanda Pratt, for convincing him to do “Thunderstruck.”
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