The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 17, 2013

Durant taking criticism for the first time in his career

Thunder All-Star insists demeanor isn't an issue

NORMAN — Kevin Durant knows the criticism is going to come. After Oklahoma City was bounced from the postseason Wednesday and he failed to come through in the clutch, he has already heard the rumblings that maybe his desire wasn’t up to the task.

During his exit interview Thursday, Durant let the assembled media know just exactly what he thinks of that type of thinking.

“I don’t give a damn,” Durant said. “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 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.”

In the Thunder’s final game, Durant had one of his poorest shooting performances of the season. He was 5 for 21 from the field and 11 of 15 from the free throw line. While he accounted for eight rebounds and led the team with six assists, he also had a game-high seven turnovers.

Even though the mild-mannered superstar doesn’t show it in the same ways as other NBA legends who have gone on to win titles, Durant contends he wants to win as much as anybody.

“I’m always going to fight for the game I love,” Durant said. “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 mountain top. I enjoy playing the game, I enjoy being here, but I’m never going to 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.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Sr Open 33 Sauers leads pack after long road back

    EDMOND — Here’s the deal. The biggest event of its kind in the world arrives in your backyard and you want so much for it to be unforgettable....

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sauers races past leaders at Oak Tree National

    At one point Saturday in the U.S. Senior Open at Oak Tree National, the leader going in, Colin Montgomerie, built up a 5-shot lead....

    July 13, 2014

  • Thunder stand pat

    Everyone knew NBA free agency would be like playing dominos as a child. Once one piece fell over, the rest would follow....

    July 12, 2014

  • Sr Open 27 Senior Open champion must weather the Oklahoma sun

    If drawn to the underdog, Marco Dawson’s still available. Tied for 13th, he’s got time to get back into it but it’s going to be awfully hard after a second-round 76....

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Montgomerie remains in control at Oak Tree National

    EDMOND, Okla. — Colin Montgomerie thought it would be tough to keep his advantage from the first round at the U.S. Senior Open, and it was....

    July 12, 2014

  • Cleveland celebrates LeBron’s return

    CLEVELAND — Cleveland is as hot as one of the blast furnaces ablaze down along the Cuyahoga River....

    July 12, 2014

  • Texas has now dropped 12 of last 13 games; 20 of 23

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Garrett Richards allowed five hits over seven innings to extend his personal winning streak to seven decisions as the Los Angeles Angels handed the Texas Rangers their sixth consecutive loss, 3-0 on Friday night....

    July 12, 2014

  • Dutch can still go undefeated

    BRASILIA, Brazil — Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal is trying to motivate his players for the third-place match against Brazil by giving them the mission of becoming the only Dutch squad to finish a World Cup unbeaten in regular play....

    July 12, 2014

  • Argentina, Germany face off in third title match

    PORTO SEGURO, Brazil — Diego Maradona was reportedly so struck by stage fright that he called for his mother’s help as Argentina players sat in silence in their changing room before the 1986 World Cup final against West Germany....

    July 12, 2014

  • Superstar Messi looks to strike first against Germans

    RIO DE JANEIRO — The most entertaining World Cup in a generation comes down to a final match that pits the planet’s best player against the tournament’s best team....

    July 12, 2014

Facebook