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Oklahoma City Thunder: 25 things to know about Kevin Durant on his 25th birthday

Kevin Durant's birthday serves as a useful checkpoint, both professionally and personally. Here are 25 things to know about Kevin Durant on his 25th birthday.
by Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: September 28, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) celebrates during Game 1 in the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 5, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) celebrates during Game 1 in the second round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 5, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

In NBA terms, Kevin Durant has a unique birthday.

Coming on Sept. 29, typically near the exact day of the official open of training camp, it serves as a useful checkpoint, both professionally and personally. And as he enters another season and celebrates another birthday, there's plenty to look back on and plenty to look forward to.

Here are 25 things to know about Kevin Durant on his 25th birthday:

Five biggest achievements

2007-08 Rookie of the Year: Seems like forever ago and largely insignificant these days. But this was Durant's first major professional feat, and it set the table for all that he's done ever since.

50-40-90 Club: Durant in 2012-13 became the sixth and youngest player in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the 3-point line and 90 percent from the foul line. In his sixth season, he proved once and for all he was much more than just a volume shooter.

Three-time scoring champ: At 21 years and 197 days, Durant became the youngest player in NBA history to win the scoring title in 2009-10. He then went on to do it two more times, enhancing his legacy as one of the greatest scorers ever.

Retired jersey at Texas: Despite playing only one season of college ball, Durant was honored with his No. 35 jersey being retired. Really, the University of Texas had no choice. Durant assembled one of the greatest single seasons in college basketball history. He was the first freshman to be named national player of the year after averaging 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.9 blocked shots.

Olympic gold: In the 2012 Olympics in London, England, his first Olympic Games, Durant dazzled. He set a Team USA record with 153 total points, breaking Spencer Haywood's mark of 145 set in 1968.

Five records within reach

The 30,000-point club: Kareem's all-time scoring record (38,387 points) seems safe until further notice. But the exclusive 30,000-point club (Kareem, Kobe, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt) seems quite attainable for the Thunder superstar. He's less than 18,000 points away. Assuming he plays an average of 80 games over the next nine seasons (maybe a reach), he'd need to average 24.64 points (not a reach) “If he continues to fill them up the way he has been, I think he can (get there),” Kobe said of Durant.

Most NBA scoring titles: You could make a stronger argument for this one if KD had just held off Carmelo's late push last season and secured his fourth straight. As is, he still has a legit shot, needing seven more to tie Wilt and Michael Jordan's record of 10.

Multiple 50-40-90 seasons: KD achieved a rare feat last season, becoming one of only six players to shoot better than 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 90 percent from the line. He's become a stickler for efficiency, so it's not hard to imagine him doing it again, which would place him with Steve Nash and Larry Bird as the only ones to do it at least twice. Nash has done it four times.

Youngest to reach 20,000 points: LeBron secured this feat last January in Golden State, doing it 19 days after his 28th birthday, more than a year quicker than Kobe, the next fastest. Durant would need to average 31.4 points over the next three seasons to surpass LeBron. Plausible, but it will be tough.

Most games played: Probably the most unlikely of this bunch. Robert Parish owns the record with 1,611 games played, in part because he played until he was 43. Even if Durant played all 82 games for the next 14 seasons, he'd come up a little short (1,609, two away). So, Durant would have to be extremely durable and play into his 40s. 

Five best quotes about Durant

Doc Rivers: “He's 7-feet tall and he's running around like a two-guard. He can handle the ball, he can take you off the dribble, he can post you up, he shoots over you. You can't trap him because he sees right over you. I don't think in the years that I've coached and played, there's ever been a more difficult guy to prepare for. You really feel like you're wasting your time doing it. He's going to probably score anyway.”

LeBron (in Sports Illustrated): “I know there is someone, somewhere, trying to take my spot. And I know where he is, too. He's in Oklahoma. He's my inspiration because I see the direction he's headed, and it's the same direction I'm headed. I know his mindset, and he knows mine. It's a collision course. We're driving one another.” 

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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