Skip to content

Kevin Durant says it was not a wasted year; has good perspective on hoops, life

May 17, 2013, 10:38 AM EDT

Kevin Durant AP

Kobe Bryant said a couple years back that every year he does not win another NBA ring is a “wasted year of my life.”

Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder came into this season thinking NBA title. They had made it to Game 5 of the NBA finals last season and they wanted to take the next step.

But when Russell Westbrook went down with a torn ACL in the playoffs, the question became when they would be eliminated, not if. The answer turned out to be in the second round to the Grizzlies.

Durant was asked if this was a wasted year for the Thunder because of that, but he told Royce Young of Daily Thunder it was not.

“Nothing’s ever a wasted year for me. It’s basketball,” KD said. “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. We take that for granted a lot. But that’s something I’m not going to do. I enjoy playing this game. I enjoy playing for this city, my teammates. So every day I get to see those guys and go through some tough times and laugh and argue it’s never wasted. I’m just blessed to be here. And I’m never going to take it for granted.”

That is a great answer. A guy who gets life.

As a society and as sports fans we tend to glorify people who care a lot about one thing — we idolize Jordan for his single-minded focus on winning rings. We want the rest of our sports stars to fit that mold. Durant will get some heat from some for not answering like MJ or Kobe Bryant would. Durant doesn’t care.

“I don’t give a damn. I’m going to be who I’m going to be,” Durant said. “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 ever going to compromise myself and my integrity and what I believe in for winning some basketball games or winning a championship. That’s just not how I was brought up. I’m always going to fight for the game I love. I’m going to claw until the last buzzer sounds and if I win a championship, of course I’ll be happy. I’m not satisfied to be in this league and losing, I’m going to work as hard as I can to get to that mountaintop. I enjoy playing the game, I enjoy being here, but I’m never come out to the media and say I wasted a year because we lost a championship. Like I said, I don’t have to be Kobe Bryant.”

Go ahead and rip him in the comments, some of you will. To me, I’d rather raise a son who gave Durant’s answer than Kobe’s.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Dante Exum diagnosed with torn ACL

    Aug 4, 2015, 9:56 PM EDT

    Dante Exum Dante Exum

    Exum suffered the injury in an exhibition game in Slovenia.

  2. Report: Concern Dante Exum tore his ACL

    Aug 4, 2015, 8:01 PM EDT

    Dante Exum Dante Exum

    That would derail a lot of the Jazz’s positive momentum

  3. Report: Magic sign Melvin Ejim to partially guaranteed contract

    Aug 4, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT

    Melvin Ejim, Rafael Hettsheimeir, Vitor Benite AP

    Will former Iowa State star make Orlando’s team?

  4. Kobe Bryant says he’s not sure if he retires at end of season

    Aug 4, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant

    Kobe doesn’t know how he’ll feel next summer. You can’t blame him for that.

  5. Report: Knicks reach deal with backup center Kevin Seraphin

    Aug 4, 2015, 11:57 AM EDT

    Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets Getty Images

    He will battle Kyle O’Quinn to backup Robin Lopez.

  6. Corey Brewer excited to reunite with Ty Lawson, spark Houston

    Aug 4, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    Denver Nuggets vs Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Lawson and Brewer put up impressive offensive numbers together in Denver.

  7. Raptors officially unveil new uniforms, yes there is a Drake-inspired one

    Aug 4, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT

    alternate2-details

    I’m no fashion critic, but they’re not bad.

  8. Andrea Bargnani says he would have played “for free” to prove himself with Nets

    Aug 4, 2015, 9:14 AM EDT

    Andrea Bargnani AP

    Somehow I bet he still cashes his paychecks rather than actually playing for free.

  9. Morris twins lawyers seek to send case back to grand jury

    Aug 4, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Phoenix Suns Media Day Getty Images

    The Morris twins have denied any involvement, or even knowing the victim.

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Bryant (1628)
  2. J. Thompson (1606)
  3. S. Vujacic (1500)
  4. L. James (1437)
  5. M. Scott (1423)
  1. J. Smith (1305)
  2. P. George (1243)
  3. J. Noah (1211)
  4. D. Lee (1182)
  5. K. Durant (1130)