Three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant is the focus of this week's “Face-to-Face with Hannah Storm,” which is scheduled to air Friday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Here is a portion of Durant's interview with Storm, which was taped at Chesapeake Energy Arena:
How much work did you put into the game as a kid?
“I was working like it was my job. That's all I knew. Every memory I had growing up was involving a basketball. I didn't go to the prom and stuff like that. It was always basketball for me. That's the way I wanted it to be. I just loved being in the gym. It was tough at times. Sometimes I wanted to quit, but I'm glad I stuck with it.”
You wanted to quit basketball at one point?
“Yeah, I did. Because I was working so hard, I wasn't seeing any results. In eighth grade, ninth grade, that's where you start to get the high school, the private schools that you wanted to play for, but nobody was recruiting me to go to their high schools. It was hurting me a little bit because I worked so hard and I think I deserved that stuff because of my hard work, but I just stayed patient, always worked at my game and I'm glad I took that type of approach.”
Why did you decide to stay in OKC when you're rookie contract was up?
“I just liked the direction we were going. … It was on an up-and-up for us. I knew if we kept progressing, kept adding pieces every single year, we would get better. I didn't want to leave that. It was an easy decision for me. … It's all about the guys on that bench and the guys who play for Oklahoma City. That's all I worry about every time I step on the floor. We always say ‘family' every time we break a huddle. It's always about us.”
Why do you go to your mother after games (when she is in attendance)?
“She was there from the beginning. No matter what, if I had a good or a bad game, she's always going to be there for me. When I was young, the only person I heard in the stands at a game was her, screaming for me to be a better player, or screaming when I messed up. Now, I see her on that sideline, it's all just so surreal to me. To be honest, there's times when I've been on the (Thunder charter) plane going to another city, I just look around and (think), ‘Wow, I'm here.' I look at my jersey and see the NBA logo, I'm like, ‘I didn't think I'd be here.'”
You didn't think you'd be here?
“I didn't think I'd be here, and the only person that really believed in me, that I could do it from Day 1, was my mom. It's so rare for people to make it. You hear all these stories about, ‘There's one in a million guys that make it to the NBA and stay there.' To see people cheering for me and when they say my name, it's just crazy. It's still crazy to me.”