In a way the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the identity of their star player, Kevin Durant. The former NBA scoring champ isn’t flashy and stays relatively quiet, but is as dangerous a scorer the game has. The Thunder is the same way. It’s strange to say that the second best team in the NBA and the number one team in the Western Conference is flying under the radar, but that’s what it seems like when it comes to Oklahoma City. While many people have been talking about how formidable the Miami Heat are, the Thunder have their own Big three of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden that has led them to a 29-8 record so far.
After leading his team to the Western Conference Finals last year, Durant has picked up his play this season. The former Texas Longhorn has increased his rebounding and defense this year and when the Thunder have needed a clutch shot down the stretch, more times than not Durant has been there to deliver time and time again. While there is still a lot of time left this season, Oklahoma City is distancing themselves from the rest of the teams out West and Durant is giving LeBron James everything he can handle in the race for the NBA’s MVP.
Kevin Durant joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about what he carries around in the backpack he is always wearing, how many points he could go for in one game if Scott Brooks gave him the green light, where his ideal spot on the court is for a game-winning shot, if he likes being a team that stays under the radar, and if Oklahoma City expects to go to the Finals.
What he carries in his backpack:
“Computer, phone charger, and a bible. (Host: No Snacks?) No. No snacks. I eat those before the game.”
How many points he could score in one game if he had the green light:
“Well I do have the green light but I doubt if I can get past 60 or I can’t even get close to 100 points.”
Where his money spot is for a game-winning shot:
“I like the middle of the court. It gives me so many options to go left or right or make a great pass to my teammates.”
On teams adjusting to players like Jeremy Lin:
“That started happening to me about halfway through my rookie season and teams started to figure me out. I was struggling a lot but as a player you just try to make adjustments and try to get better and learn what types of defenses teams are playing. In Jeremy Lin’s case he’s doing a great job and it’s different for him since he’s a point guard. He’s playing very well and adjusting very well and I’m happy to see him win.”
Whether he likes being a team under the radar:
“Yeah I do like it. I think a lot of people still put us under the radar and that’s where we should be. I think we have a lot of growing to do, we can get better, and a lot of teams are playing well. In our case we just have to keep growing. We have a young team that’s going to get better over time but like I said it’s going to take some time. We’re looking forward to that process and just have to keep growing together.”
If his team would retaliate if something happened to him like it did Kobe Bryant:
“They wouldn’t retaliate because that’s not the way basketball is played. He didn’t do it on purpose I don’t think. Just one of those fouls where he got him on the nose a little bit there but I think my teammates would come out with a little more fire, especially since we’re playing the Heat, probably the best team in the league and also because D-Wade broke Kobe’s nose. That wasn’t intentional. D-Wade is a class player and a class guy and it was just an accident.”
If he has room for an NBA Championship trophy in his case:
“I don’t have a lot of space but I will find some space if we make it that far man. That would be a blessing.”
If he expects the Thunder to be in the NBA Finals this year:
“We expect to go as far as we want but I won’t say we’re going to go to the Finals or make any predictions. All about taking it a day at a time and trying to get better.”
Listen to Kevin Durant on The Dan Patrick Show here (Audio begins 17:30 into the podcast)