via press release:
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER’S KEVIN DURANT SAYS HE IS TIRED
OF HEARING HE IS #2 – ON THE NEXT EDITION OF
“60 MINUTES SPORTS” ON SHOWTIME®
But in the Hearts of Oklahoma City Fans and Tornado Victims, KD is #1
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PREMIERES WEDNESDAY, DEC. 4 AT 10:00 PM, ET/PT
NBA superstar Kevin Durant is getting tired of being #2, an exalted, yet still second-best rank that’s dogged him since high school. But to his Oklahoma City fans and the city’s tornado victims, “KD” is #1. The Thunder’s 6-9 forward talks to James Brown about his career, his mother who drove him to succeed and his new hometown, for a profile on the next edition of 60 MINUTES SPORTS premiering Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 10:00 PM, ET/PT only on SHOWTIME.
Durant, 25, has already been the NBA’s highest scorer three times. But he’s come in second three times for the League’s MVP; finished second in the NBA World Championship when his team lost to the Miami Heat; he was #2 in the NBA draft; and he says he was the second-best player on his high school team. He’s tired of it. “…People would just always say that it’s cool, you’re top three, that’s cool. That’s good to be there. It’s alright to be a top-three player in the world…I mean…I’m just tired of settling for that, tired of saying that, tired of hearing it,” he tells Brown.
In Oklahoma City, where fans were tired of the fact pro sports have largely ignored their town, Durant is the main reason the Chesapeake Energy Arena is nearly always full. In addition to almost bringing home a major pro sports championship last season, Durant has embraced the city as his family. He secretly gave a million dollars to victims of the tornadoes that hit the city last spring, a secret that got out, annoying the donor who wished to remain anonymous. He also volunteered in the clean-up. He had met some of the tornado’s victims in the arena and at community events. “I felt so bad – it was a war zone,” he recalls.
“Humble, he’s very humble,” says a fan. “You can see him anywhere out on the street and he will talk to you, have a conversation. Not just, ‘I’m a big star and I don’t have time for anybody.’ He has time for anybody.”
Some of that humility comes from his upbringing. Brown talks to Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, who took pains to not spoil her sports star son. She came to high school practices. “If the coach said, ‘Kevin, do 25 crab walks,’ I would be like, ‘No, I think maybe you should do 75.’ If he said, ‘50 runs up Hunt’s Hill,’ I said, ‘Well, I think you could do 100,’” she tells Brown. Pratt laughs now about these and other measures she took to get her son to realize his NBA dream. “Now I’m like, ‘Wow, that was cruelty.’”
Durant looks forward to another shot at a championship, a chance to be 31. “I think about the future a lot. What steps I have to take now for us to maybe be a championship team,” he tells Brown. But Durant acknowledges a recent announcement about his private life likely means another #2 status – permanently.
He plans to marry his girlfriend, WNBA star Monica Wright. James reminds him that in a marriage, he is probably going to have to be #2. “Definitely,” says Durant laughing, “I’m with that. I’m good with that.”