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Low-key Kevin Durant announces contract extension via Twitter

Kevin Durant didn't need a one-hour special on the "World Wide Leader." The Thunder's star was satisfied with just 140 characters.
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: July 8, 2010 at 11:20 am •  Published: July 7, 2010

Instead, it didn't take long for the two sides to strike a deal. The past week was spent simply fine-tuning the fine print.

"It was done at 11:02," Durant admitted. "Point blank. It was done."

And in what has been billed as "The Summer of LeBron," it was Durant who augmented his already ample adulation with the manner in which he delivered his news.

"Kevin Durant obviously is a great player. He's one of the best players in the league," said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy. "But as a coach, somebody who follows basketball, what you appreciate is he just sort of did it. There was no big fanfare compared to what's going on with all these free agents. This is a guy who sort of gets on with business. He didn't use the whole process to promote himself or anything else. He just signed his extension and moved on."

Durant said it was an easy decision. He simply did what felt natural — sidestepped the spotlight.

"I'm just not the guy that always wants to be in the limelight or have my business out there, even though it will be out there sooner or later," Durant said.

"I didn't want to go through that. Twitter has been good to me. I have a lot of people that follow me. I know a lot of people wanted to know about the contract, so why not? It was cool."

Durant, who rarely has turned down a media member's request for an interview during his three years in the league, shot down several journalists Wednesday. He declined two requests from NBA TV, which is broadcasting every summer league game live from Orlando.

Durant said he wanted to avoid the same stress that was placed on him during the negotiating process when shoe companies lined up for his services just before his rookie season.

And Durant insisted his actions Wednesday were genuine, not some stunt to secure more reverence.

"I've been like this forever," Durant said. "I guess people really like that. But I'm just being myself. I'm not faking it. I'm not here at summer league because I want everybody to think I'm a good person. I didn't put it on Twitter because I want everybody to think that. That's just how I am, and people like it I guess."

Durant, though, didn't fault James and fellow 2010 free agents, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, for dragging out their decision. Wade and Bosh simultaneously announced their intentions live on ESPN on Wednesday morning to sign with Miami.

"LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, those guys are superstars," Durant said. "They didn't really put themselves out there as superstars. Other people in the media and fans really put them up on that pedestal. So you can't get mad at those guys for wanting to go through that process and really see how it is because it's their first time. I'm sure the next time it probably won't be like that for those guys.

"As a fan of the game, I'm excited for guys like LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh. Getting new contracts and getting to pick a team is a blessing so you can't blame them for what they did."

Durant's desires, as evidenced by his down-to-earth delivery Wednesday, are downright different.

"I'm just a basketball player. I love the game," Durant said. "I really haven't thought of myself as a superstar or a global icon.

"I just want to play. It's a blessing to be here for six more years now."


BREAKING DOWN DURANT'S DEAL

A look at what Kevin Durant's new contract could look like.

2011-12: $14,511,000

2012-13: $16,034,655

2013-14: $17,558,310

2014-15: $19,081,965

2015-16: $20,605,620

Note: This is only a projection based on the salary cap that has been set for the 2010-11 season. Durant's deal is based on the cap number for the 2011-12 season, which will not be known until next July.

By Darnell Mayberry

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