Kevin Durant – Forward, Oklahoma City Thunder
He’s the new prototype for a point/shooting forward. He’s the heart and soul of the rebirth of basketball in Oklahoma. He’s a family man that always remembers to hug his mom after home games. He’s one of the most charitable of the NBA’s new class of young starts. He’s even been the coolest, most famous last minute pick-up for a college flag football game. Above all though, Kevin Durant is today’s model of consistency. Not consistency like repeating the same task to get the same result or even the consistency that can hint at complacency. In fact, quite the opposite.
Durant is the model of consistency in the fire and hunger he brings to his job every day regardless of whether it’s an early morning, mid-August lifting session in the off-season or a “light” practice day between games during a five game East Coast road swing. He doesn’t just come to work to do his work. He comes to get better.
A McDonald’s All-American out of high school, Durant could have been satisfied with his initial taste of stardom and ridden his talent and his newfound height to some highlight dunks and a few mentions on SportsCenter at Texas. Not him. He came to get better. He came to score 25.8 points and grab 11.1 rebounds per game as a freshman. He came to lead the Longhorns to a berth in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Oh and when that season ended, he just happen to have gotten good enough to win the NABC Division I Player of the Year award.
He soon left for the NBA, but not to cash in on his success and relax on a few million. No, not Durant. He came to the NBA to challenge himself, to push his physical limits against the best of the best. He came to re-build a broken franchise that desperately needed a star it could trust, believe in, love and be loved.
Rookie of the Year? Not good enough for Durant. He saw a 20-62 record that could (and had) to be improved. A move to OKC, a 50 win season and a scoring title? Still work to be done. Durant still stung from a first-round playoff exit to the Los Angeles Lakers (the eventual champs) and had to get better. Had to make his teammates better. A FIBA World Championship, a second-straight scoring title and All-Star appearance and even a cameo in the Western Conference finals? Bittersweet and only exposed new areas that Durant could work on, this time taking the summer to challenge the best player in the game (LeBron) to get better with him. How about an Olympic Gold, yet another scoring title and a shot at the title against the Miami Heat? Take a guess. Durant wasn’t satisfied and had to get better, had to be better each day forward. Now he’s posting career-high numbers in field goal %, 3-pt shooting %, free throw %, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Just absurd stats night in and night out. But do you think he’s satisfied? You think he might lose The Drive tomorrow? Not Durant.
Yesterday’s Daily Driver (01/11)
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