OKLAHOMA CITY — The magnitude of Game 6 was not lost on Kevin Durant. Despite only being 25, the Oklahoma City star has experienced several of the win-or-go-home contests from both sides.
Yet, Durant refused to let the pressure of the elimination game control his life.
“I’ve learned not to let basketball take over my life, so when I go home I try to release and just enjoy my life, just get away from it, but also in the back of my mind just get ready for the next game,” Durant said before Game 6. “It was frustrating (Thursday) going on, but we have to look at the grand scheme of things.”
Even though Durant was named MVP this season, he said the award didn’t add any more pressure on the his shoulders.
By most accounts, the postseason has been a struggle at times for Durant. Even though he leads the playoffs in scoring at 29.7, he’s had several nights where he didn’t have the impact he could have.
“Pressure comes from everybody else from the outside, from media, from friends, family, but I play this game because I love it, and I play to win,” Durant said. “If I give it my all, it may not be enough for everybody else, but I know what I gave, so I can live with it.”
Durant’s solution to dealing with the expectations and postseason pressure that come with being the MVP and arguably the second best player in the NBA is a simple one.
“I have friends and family that make sure I don’t go crazy, just do stuff that makes me happy and just, like I said, try not to always think about it,” Durant said. “The mind is a powerful thing. When you think positive thoughts and thoughts that it’s going to move forward, like I said, to get your mind off it, it helps, also. Just having positive people around me not always criticizing me helps.”