KD, The Durantula, The Slim Reaper…however you want to call Kevin Durant; you now have to preface it with “NBA Champion.” Many have questioned the means he went to attain his first NBA title, but at the end of the day Durant is an NBA champion and a future Hall of Famer.
Those two things are what the NBA wants you to know about the skinny kid from Prince George’s County, Maryland. The league does its best to protect its stars and only let you know about the good that they’ve done. But in this day and age of social media and instant news, fans often find out things about their favorite players even before the league or their own teams do. Durant is no exception and whether it be his upbringing, his personal relationships, or his social media history; KD has some skeletons in the closet that are just now coming to the light of day.
If you thought Durant’s “frenemy” relationship with Russell Westbrook was fascinating, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Did you know Durant was once engaged to a WNBA player or that he tweeted he wanted to drink the bath water of a famous actress? Or that his best friend is one of the biggest busts in NBA history? Or that he’s feuded with NBA players bigger (and I mean much bigger) than Russell Westbrook? There are so many things that KD has tried to keep under wraps but we are here to reveal all! Here are 15 things the NBA doesn’t want you to know about Kevin Durant.
Like Durant, Beasley grew up in the DMV area and was also the number two overall pick in the NBA draft (2008). The two played together on AAU teams in Maryland and won numerous championships together. While they both had great prep careers, Beasley’s pro career has left a lot to be desired. He’s bounced around to five different NBA teams including three different stints with the Miami Heat. He also played in China and has the reputation as someone who can’t stay out of trouble. He’s had numerous incidents involving marijuana including being arrested for suspicion of marijuana in 2013 which led to his release from the Suns.
He also previously checked into rehab for weed and in 2011 he shoved a heckler in the face while playing on a streetball tour with Durant. KD may be one of the good guys in the NBA but that doesn’t necessarily mean he always surrounds himself with other good guys.
Except he didn’t quite use the words “Kitty Kat”. During a game in 2014 between the Thunder and Rockets, Durant was injured and in street clothes while an altercation took place between the two teams. While the players on the court were being separated and being sent to their respective benches, Durant sauntered onto the court, got within inches of Howard’s face, and called Howard the same thing that Michael Jordan once said Kwame Brown was playing like.
Always one to copy other players, this Durant/Howard exchange came just two weeks after Kobe Bryant had called Howard a “soft MF” among other words. Howard and Durant either patched things up recently or Howard has a short memory as after Durant won his first NBA title as the Warriors defeated the Cavs; Howard then said that Durant, and not LeBron James, was the best player in the NBA.
KD could be KP if his father would have never left the family. Durant’s father, Wayne Pratt, left when Kevin Wayne Durant was just a baby and didn’t re-enter his life until Kevin was a teenager. Kevin’s mom and maternal grandmother were the main ones who helped raise Kevin and his younger brother, Tony. Wayne did, however, help Kevin while he was traveling across the country and playing on the AAU circuit. When Kevin won his MVP award, he mentioned that his dad supported him from afar and would often text him Bible verses.
Pratt is currently an assistant basketball coach at a high school in Washington DC and still plays pick-up from time-to-time as evident by a social media video that made the rounds during the NBA Finals. The NBA always talks about Durant’s mother but when it comes to his father they follow the old adage, “If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all.”
No regerts…not quite but I’m sure Durant regretted one of his tattoos after the tattooist misspelled a word. In 2013 Durant got a back tattoo that includes a Bible verse that in part should read: “Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” The only problem is that the word “mature” is spelled mautre on Durant’s back which makes the tattoo very-much so deficient. However, Durant had the ink re-done and corrected so that the spelling is “mature” instead of “mautre.”
If only Durant could have a do-over on some of the tweets he sent out earlier in his career such as the one in which he showed distain for super teams.
In 2013 Durant became the youngest player ever to join the 50-40-90 club and he would also start the season which culminated in his first MVP award. But another thing KD did that year was get engaged to someone he called his high school sweetheart, Monica Wright. Wright wasn’t just some run-of-the-mill girl from the DMV as she was also a WNBA player and played for the Minnesota Lynx at the time. Like Durant in 2007, Wright was also the number two overall pick in her draft as she was taken in the 2010 WNBA Draft. However, Durant would later say that he didn’t love Wright “the right way” and he called the engagement off a short time later. It’s unfortunate as they could have easily replaced Sheldon Williams and Candace Parker as the most famous NBA/WNBA player marriage.
Just like Andrew Wiggins and Tristan Thompson, Kevin Durant’s favorite NBA team growing up was the Toronto Raptors. But unlike Wiggins and Thompson, Durant isn’t Canadian and didn’t grow up in Toronto. As someone who grew up in the late 1990s/early 2000s, KD’s favorite player was Vince Carter and thus his favorite team was the one that Carter played for. He also had a game that similar to that of Tracy McGrady which was another reason to root for the Raptors. While the NBA would never publicly admit it, they probably don’t want one of their biggest stars playing in Canada and the league did back flips whenever Carter was traded to New Jersey. Even though the game’s inventor, Dr. James Naismith is Canadian, hockey is truly Canada’s sport and Durant would take a backseat to many NHL players in terms of recognition in Canada even if he played for the Raptors.
The list of NBA players who have released rap songs has ranged from Allen Iverson to Kobe Bryant to Shaq to Chris Mills. However, the list of NBA players who have UNRELEASED rap songs probably has about 100 names on it. Two of those names are perhaps the two best players in the league: Kevin Durant and LeBron James. The two reportedly made it during the 2011 NBA lockout when Durant happened to be in Ohio where James was living. According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, Durant rapped the first verse, LeBron took the second, and Durant closed out the final verse. The song was almost included in the 2012 film Thunderstruck which also stars Durant, but KD wanted to keep it private at the time. A snippet of the audio eventually made its way to social media with a Cleveland recording studio promising to release the full audio if the snippet reached 1 million re-tweets.
Now, let’s check the weekend forecast with weatherman, Kevin Durant…What? Yes, KD says that if his basketball career didn’t pan out, he wanted to be a meteorologist and TV weatherman. It looked like that would become a possibility after his first two years of high school at National Christian Academy. However, he then had a 5 inch growth spurt which led to offers from pretty much every college in the nation. Even though he has settled in with his day job of being a basketball player, Durant still shows off his love for meteorology. In 2013 he released his KD VI Meteorology shoes which conveniently feature a doppler radar mapping graphic along with longitudinal coordinates for the places Durant has lived. The next time your favorite weatherman is giving the 5-day forecast, check out his kicks as he may be rocking a pair of the KD VI Meteorology.
In early 2017 the Shaq-JaVale McGee feud reached a new level and McGee’s new teammate, Kevin Durant, stuck up for the oft-mocked big man. After Shaq made fun of McGee again on his Shaqtin’ A-Fool TV segment, Durant went at Shaq and said the following: “Shaq was a sh-- free throw shooter, he missed dunks, he airballed free throws, he couldn’t shoot outside the paint…He didn’t have no skill…Still a great player, but you had your flaws as a player…so it’s not like he’s just some perfect center.” It’s one thing to call out a former player; it’s another thing to call out a Hall of Fame player; and it’s even another thing to call out a Hall of Famer who works for the league through Turner and NBATV. Adam Silver couldn’t have been too happy that two of the most popular basketball players ever were feuding over some dude with a rattail named JaVale McGee!
As a kid who was born in Washington D.C. and was raised in Maryland, it’s no surprise that Durant’s favorite NFL team is the one that plays in D.C. and has the most controversial team name in sports. Many sports broadcasters will go out of their way to not even mention the team’s name and usually refer to them as the “NFL team in Washington” but Durant did no such thing in an interview as he was asked who his favorite team was and he simply responded: Redskins.
The NBA has always tried to steer clear of anything that could be deemed offensive (i.e. Donald Sterling) and the league even went as far as to change the name of the NBA team in Washington who went from the Bullets to the Wizards. On a side note: Durant has about as good a chance of playing for the Redskins as he does playing for his hometown Wizards.
Durant may be LeBron’s peer on an NBA court, but the two had drastically different roads to even reach the league. While LeBron was appearing on ESPN as a junior at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, Durant bounced around at three different high schools: two in Maryland and one in Virginia. He was just 6’2” as a sophomore at National Christian Academy in Maryland and didn’t have many offers from colleges. He then hit a growth spurt while he spent his junior year at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia and then his senior year at Montrose Christian High School in Rockville. By the time he was a senior he was 6’7” and that’s when offers started pouring in from around the nation. But Durant stuck with the program that first showed interest in him as a nobody and committed to the University of Texas before his senior season. The rest is history.
Shortly after Durant shocked the world and signed with the Golden State Warriors, a report came out that Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Nick Collison had dinner in Los Angeles a week before free agency. According to ESPN’s Royce Young, Durant told Westbrook and Collison that they had nothing to worry about in terms of his pending free agency leading them to believe that he was returning to Oklahoma City. That obviously did not happen and that is partly to blame for the continued shade that Westbrook threw Durant all of last season. In fact, Durant never even called Westbrook to tell him he was going to Golden State and only sent him a text message after the fact. If that story is true, then you can understand the vitriol that Westbrook showed Durant throughout his first season with the Warriors.
In 2011 Kevin Durant was famous but in an athlete/basketball player kind of way. He wasn’t the global superstar or the “brand” like he is now so he could get away with sending out tweets like this:
KD was just like any other 22-year-old, red-blooded American male in expressing his admiration for ScarJo. That prompted one of his Twitter followers to point out that Durant had thoughts just like any other guy:
You would think that Durant would have gone back and deleted these tweets by now or he could even afford to hire someone to delete them but they remain out in the Twitterverse along with other thirsty KD tweets. In any event, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion the NBA wouldn't want these tweets to be out there to this day.
As a rookie in 2007, Durant was invited to Team USA’s training camp for consideration for the FIBA Americas Championship that summer. With this tournament, the winner automatically qualifies for the FIBA World Cup and the Summer Olympics. As an 18-year-old Durant was a long shot to make the team, which he ultimately did not, but it’s a surprise who was selected over him. While wings such as LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kobe Bryant predictably made the team; other players such as Tayshaun Prince, Mike Miller, and Michael Redd were chosen over KD.
Coach K said he prioritized shooting with this squad which helps explain the Miller and Redd picks; but Tayshaun? I think Durant at 18 was better than Tayshaun was at any point in his career and Coach K must have felt that he needed the former Pistons’ veteran leadership and thus, Durant didn’t make his national team debut until 2010.
In the summer of 2010 LeBron James shocked the basketball world by taking his talents to South Beach in the made-for-TV special, The Decision. OKC fans apparently blew up Durant’s Twitter account afterwards and asked if that was going to be him in a couple of years. Durant read all of the tweets, sat back for one week, and then responded to all of them with this simple tweet:
Now everybody wanna play for the heat and the Lakers? Let's go back to being competitive and going at these peoples!— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 16, 2010
You would think he would spend the rest of his career in OKC and go at these super teams, right? Well he did that for a while but after six straight years of early playoff defeats, Durant changed his tune in the summer of 2016 and hooked up with the team with the most regular season wins in NBA history. But I guess since the Warriors aren’t the Heat or the Lakers, it’s ok..right Thunder fans?