Kevin Durant walked into his postgame news conference following the Oklahoma City Thunder's Game 1 victory over Denver and climbed to his seat atop a podium with three things in hand.
His cellphone, a pair of headphones and a Bible.
The first two, Durant has always carried. The third item was included only recently.
For the past 44 days, Durant, the Thunder's two-time All-Star and reigning two-time scoring champ, has become a Bible-toting ballplayer. Since March 8, Durant has read passages each day from the black leather Bible he carries with his name engraved on the front cover.
Durant has been spotted digesting passages at his locker before games, which is not uncommon inside NBA locker rooms. Teammate Serge Ibaka has done the same since he entered the league. The sight of Durant thumbing through the Good Book, though, represents just another reason why many observers have labeled Durant a special kind of superstar.
“I just want to grow spiritually with the Lord,” Durant said. “It's something I always talked about, but I never really got into it.”
Durant finally decided to commit himself to a covenant of daily worship on March 7. The Thunder was in Memphis for a game against the Grizzlies. During a trip to pregame chapel, which more than half of the Thunder's roster attends regularly before each game, Durant found his final source of inspiration.
The team chaplain for the Grizzlies, like Durant a Maryland native, stressed what a difference daily reading can make. The minister told the young man that even a scripture a day can change his life.
The next day, Durant began his devotion.
“I'm keeping strong at it, just trying to make my walk with faith a little better,” Durant said. “That's making me a better person, opening my eyes to things and I'm also maturing as a person. I'm just trying to grow.”