Mitch McGary and Josh Huestis have been teammates with Kevin Durant for a little more than a day, but they already came away impressed with the superstar’s inclusive nature.
“Kevin Durant already texted me, said, ‘can’t wait to get to work,’” McGary revealed, with a big smile during his introductory press conference.
Huestis added: “To me, it’s incredible. Like Mitch said, he reached out to me, too. For Kevin Durant, the top scorer in the world, to reach out to guys like us who just joined the organization says a lot about his character.”
The gesture shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Durant has long been lauded for his public appreciation of his teammates and team-building approach. In the MVP speech heard round the world, Durant singled out each of his teammates, thanked them and even came to tears telling some anecdotes.
Nationwide, the video went viral. McGary was one of the many to watch it.
“I like to think of myself as a good teammate,” McGary said. “And to see Kevin Durant reach out to each one of his teammates in his speech was very heartfelt.”
Huestis said: “He values teamwork very highly. And I really want to become a part of an organization like that. It was selfless for him to reach out like that and show that from top to bottom, from the best player to a guy that just joined the team, we’re all one.”
On Friday night, Huestis returned the favor, taking his family out to eat at (where else?) KD’s restaurant in Bricktown.
HUESTIS NOT SURPRISED BY HIS PLACEMENT
Most mock drafts had Huestis as a second rounder. A few didn’t even have him getting selected. ESPN had him as the 90th overall prospect in a 60-player draft.
But when his name was called in the first round on Thursday night – 29th overall by the Thunder – Huestis said he wasn’t surprised. He’d worked out for 18 teams and felt like the Thunder liked him.
“I tried not to think about it,” Huestis said. “Where I was going, when I was going, it was out of my control. Whatever happens, happens...Going into it, some people saw me in a certain slot. But the draft process is such a unpredictable thing, so I just didn’t think about it.”
Huestis wasn’t bashful when asked who he wants to model his game after: “I really look at a person like Kawhi Leonard. I want to be somebody who can come in and just help a team win, do the little things, defend multiple positions and knock down open shots.”
CHRISTON TO JOIN THUNDER SOON
The Thunder picked up three players on Thursday night, but it only introduced two on Friday afternoon.
That’s because Semaj Christon, the Xavier point guard selected 55th overall by the Heat and shipped to Charlotte and then Oklahoma City for cash considerations, was still stuck in the complicated loop of draft day trades.
But general manager Sam Presti officially announced the acquisition and said Christon will be in OKC soon.
“He wasn’t able to join us this afternoon but will be made available to the media in a couple days as we begin summer league practice,” Presti said.
Christon averaged 17 points per game last season, fourth in the Big East. He’s a 6-foot-3 combo guard who was considered a fringe first round pick at the start of the season before his stock dipped a bit. He will play for the Thunder’s summer league team but, as a second-round pick, does not have a guaranteed contract.