After his Oklahoma City Thunder were booted out of the NBA playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies, Durant spoke with ESPN and rebutted a certain suggestion that was once made by Kobe Bryant.
Bryant at age 32 stated that any year that did not culminate in a NBA championship ‘ was a wasted year of my life.’
Durant being the league’s current whipping boy as a superstar that can’t win the big ones, not only defended himself, he continued to carve out his own lane as a man.
“Nothing’s ever a wasted year for me,” Durant said. “It’s basketball. I’ve grown so much as a man since the beginning of the season. I’ve grown so much as a leader. Nothing is ever wasted.”
“Of course, the ultimate goal in this league is to win a championship. But I’m never going to say I wasted a year.
I’m blessed to even wake up and do something I love every day. So it’s never wasted.”
At 25, it seems that Durant is still very much appreciative of the lifestyle and the opportunities that being a NBA player afford him.
Does that make him soft? Does that make him less of a fighter than Kobe? Does that make him mentally weaker than LeBron?
“I don’t give a damn,” Durant said sternly. “I’m going to be who I’m going to be. I’m not Kobe Bryant. I’m not Michael Jordan. I’m not LeBron James. I’m not Magic Johnson. I’m me. I’m not going to ever compromise myself, my integrity and what I believe in for winning some basketball games and winning a championship. That’s just not how I was brought up.
“I’m always going to fight for this game I love. I’m going to claw until the last buzzer sounds. And if that’s after a championship then, of course, I’ll be happy. I’m not satisfied just being in this league and losing. I’m going to work as hard as I can to try to get to that mountaintop. I enjoy playing the game. I enjoy being here. But I’m never going to come out to the media and say we wasted a year because we lost a championship. Like I said, I don’t have to be Kobe Bryant.”
For now, Durant and Thunder fans will have to savor the promise of what it will be like to win a title on his terms.
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