Kevin Durant has been all over the globe this summer. The Thunder star has kept a schedule that he admits has little predictability. Perhaps the most stability Durant has had since the Thunder's season ended in late May has come over the last week as he's been stationed in Baton Rouge, La., to film his upcoming movie “Switch.”
During a break in filming, Durant sat down for a one-on-one interview with The Oklahoman, touching on topics such as the NBA lockout, his offseason workouts, potential plans for a charity game in Oklahoma and, of course, his new tattoos.
What was your reaction to the postponement of training camp and the cancellation of 43 preseason games?
I was shocked. The lockout is starting to be for real now. Now that they've canceled some preseason games and postponed training camp, people are starting to really think this thing can really happen. But as players, we got to stick together and stay positive and hopefully we bring something together for the fans.
Is there one issue that's most important to you in negotiations?
Security. Just knowing that you have a guaranteed contract. They're trying to bring the hard cap in there, and that's something that I think is not going to favor us so much as players.
You said recently that the players won't back down. But does that stance start to change as more games get wiped out?
Yeah, I can easily say that when nothing's been canceled. That's kind of tough. But I think we are going to stick together. We want our voices to be heard. We don't want to give in. But it's going to be tough to miss some games and miss some time. But as players, we're going to try to stick this thing out as long as we can.
What can you tell us about the guys from the roster who got together in Austin recently?
It was great. Texas did a great job of hosting us on campus. But we were just working out. We would go at 8 in the morning and lift, then we would go upstairs and work out on the court. Then we would take about a three-hour break, grab some food and come back and hoop; play pick-up, stuff that we would normally do around this time in the preseason, but it would just be in Oklahoma City. It was really good.
Is it true you guys have another similar gathering already planned?
Yeah, we got another one coming up on the third (of October). We're going to go to Lexington. Nazr (Mohammed) set everything up. Royal (Ivey) and Nick (Collison) set it up in Austin. So they've been doing a good job. Hopefully it's going to help us once we do start playing.
You've been playing in charity games all over the country and even the world. Is there a chance that you and some of your teammates hold one in Oklahoma City?
I was thinking about doing that. But of course it's more than just saying you want to do it. Finding a place to play, because you know if we do it it's going to be packed. Everybody in Oklahoma City is going to want to see it. I want to try to do it and get not just our players from our team but guys all around the league to come play in it and make it a nice event. But it's a matter of where we're going to do it. I was thinking about the Cox Convention Center. I don't know if we can get that or not. Who knows? But I want to do it just for the fans of Oklahoma City who haven't seen us play. If the lockout goes throughout the month of October, that's when I'll try to set that up.
What's your ultimate goal playing in all these streetball and pickup games?
Really just trying to get better. Trying to grow as a player. Playing against NBA players around this time is really going to help. So it's just a matter of me just going out there and hooping and enjoying it. I just do it for the love of the game, really.
What area of your game do you feel like you've improved the most this summer?
My post game. I think it's grown leaps and bounds with me being comfortable down there and having a different array of moves to work with. But it's going to be tougher during the season to do that because of a lot of double teams. A lot of (defenders) are going to be watching if I sit in the post. If I catch it they're going to bring a double team. So I've been working on passing out of it and making the right decisions as well.
You know that's the answer everybody wants to hear?
A lot of people want to see a post game, but they don't really know what goes into it. I get a lot of opportunities to do that in the game but I get played a lot of different ways too. It's not that easy to just go in there and sit down there and do a post move. Because if it was that easy I'd be doing it. But it's a matter of me getting down there and fighting off double teams and making the right decisions. It's a lot more than just going down there and posting up.
I hear you were working out with Blake Griffin on your post game.
It wasn't just on our post game. We were working with each other on different moves. Early in the summer we worked out for about a week to a week and a half out in LA. We helped each other a lot. He works hard and he's a freak of nature. It was a joy working out with him.
You've also done some work down in Miami with Joe Johnson. What did you take from those workouts?
I respect Joe a lot. He works hard, too. It felt like we were teammates going down there working. If the lockout keeps going, I'm going to stay down there and work out some more with him.
Have you really been biking 40 miles at times this summer?
Yeah. I did it maybe five or six times in the span of two weeks. It was tough. I'd wake up at 6 o'clock and start at about 6:45 a.m. One time I didn't come back until about 10:45 a.m. I got lost. I almost rode on the highway. But I feel stronger in my legs and my base. I did it for my base, being able to get lower and stay with my position and catch the ball where I want to catch it.
What was your reaction to people discovering you had tattoos?
It was just like so what? I was wondering why people were so worried about me getting a tattoo. It doesn't change the type of person I am. It doesn't change how I look at things. It's just ink. And I like ink. It's something I always wanted to get. I was a little nervous of getting them because of needles. But I was going to get them sooner or later.
I had a feeling once you got your entire chest covered the back would soon be next.
Yeah, of course. I'm going to try to stay away from my arms. Once I have kids and a family, that's when I'll kind of get my arms done maybe. But I was just a big fan of tattoos always growing up, and I wanted something cool that symbolizes what I've been through in my life and everything on my chest and my back is like a collage. Like it or not, it's staying.
Any new commercials we should be on the look out for?
I've got a few coming up. I've got one next week and one at the end of the month depending on what the lockout does. I don't really know the concept of it since I'm focusing on the movie, but once this is done I'll have to figure that out.
What happened with summer school this summer?
Yeah, man. I feel bad because I was on a good pace of going back every summer. But a lot of responsibility started to come after that first year we made it to the playoffs. But I'll take it though. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go back.
What's next for you?
I don't know. I really just take it a day at a time. I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow. I just know for sure I'm going to keep playing basketball.