Kevin Durant has already had a legendary NBA career. The lanky forward has received nine All-Star nods, an NBA MVP award, and finally was crowned NBA Champion in 2017 after the Warriors took down the Cavaliers in five games. With an outstanding performance that led to the Finals MVP, Durant has already made a spot for himself in the history books.
But, along with his on-court success and celeb-level popularity, KD has had some awkward situations. Whether it's Draymond Green giving him a pep-talk that became an infamous meme or the tweet where he admitted that he would drink Scarlett Johansson's bath water, the 29-year-old baller has had some funny moments over the course of the last decade. Ever since coming into the NBA, Durant was viewed as someone who many had their doubts about, given how lanky he was coming out of high school. While KD still is on the lanky side as far as NBA players, his incredible wingspan has helped him become one of the NBA's elite scorers and one of the most dominant players of the last decade.
Today, we'll set aside some of these moments, and focus more on Durant' embarrassing photographs. Let's lay-up a brief history of KD's career through 15 hilariously awkward photographs of the NBA legend.
15 Young KD
Bright-eyed and pock faced, a young Kevin Durant took the basketball world by storm. Growing nearly five inches before his senior season in high school, the then-6'7" baller dominated his competition with Montrose Christian in Rockville, MD. Durant soon rose through the rank of high school recruits and eventually became the MVP of the McDonald's All-American game. According to the scouting site Rivals, he was even deemed the number-two prospect of 2006.
But, it wasn't all success for this awkward teenager. Durant had to 'grow up' quickly when his AAU coach, Charles Craig, died of multiple gun shot wounds on April 30, 2005. According to NewsOK, Craig taught Durant the basics of the game, and their personal "relationship [went] beyond basketball." Today, the former NBA MVP honors his mentor by wearing the number 35: the age when Craig passed away.
14 The College Years
After his high school days were over, Durant joined the University of Texas for one brief, but stellar season. The lanky Longhorn averaged a 25-point double-double, leading Texas to a four-seed in the tournament. Even though the burnt orange squad was upset by a Taj Gibson-led USC team, Durant's lone college year did not go unnoticed, as he received several accolades including the Naismith College Player Of The Year Award.
In this awkward, poorly-air brushed photo, Durant was probably posing for a team photographer for promotional purposes.
He looks a little unnatural in that fighting stance; that's because he barely weighed 200-lbs. soaking wet. Now that we've seen him in action on the court for over a decade, and the fact that he's put on a little muscle, it's safe to say that you probably won't want to mess with this literal Warrior.
13 2nd Overall Pick
As mentioned before, Duran't strength was a big issue going into the 2007 draft. You may know the infamous story from the NBA Combine in which a 19-year-old Durant couldn't even squeeze out one-rep of 185 lbs. on the bench press. His poor overall performance in the power, strength, and agility portions of the event left some teams questioning whether he could succeed in a physically-dominant league. But, Seattle took KD with the second-overall pick (behind Portland's legendary draft bust Greg Oden), and the NBA has morphed into Durant's style of play: spot-up shooting, finesse, and slightly less animalism.
Still trying to find his role in the league, KD looked utterly flabbergasted to have slammed the rock in this picture. Needless to say, I'm sure the front office of the Trail Blazers has the same exact look on their faces when anyone brings up the fact that they skipped out on Durant in the draft.
12 Wild 'N Out With The Beard
Durant and his former teammate James Harden had great on-court chemistry during their days in OKC. The two All-Stars were pumped about beating up on the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of the 2011 Western Conference Finals, tying the series at one game a piece. Unfortunately, a Dirk-led Mavs team took the next three games of the series, eventually going on to beat the Miami Heat in six in the NBA Finals.
Still, this thunderous photo of teammate exultation will go down in internet history in the form of a meme.
It has been captioned with sayings like "Mom made pizza rolls" and "Let's Get Chipotle."
Perhaps the players were just excited because they could predict the future, knowing that their current teams are doing a better than a struggling OKC squad!
11 Dissed By Peyton Manning
The ESPY's are a time for celebrating achievement and taking a look back at the year in sports. Typically, before things get serious, the host tends to open-up with a few lighthearted jokes to engage the crowd, but not everyone thinks they are hilarious. In 2017, with recently-retired QB Peyton Manning MCing the award show, he took a few shots at the attending athletes, especially Kevin Durant.
In reference to the USA's dominance in Rio and KD's move to the Bay Area, Manning cracked "Our gymnastics team was so dominant that Kevin Durant told me he wants to play for them next year. And I gotta tell ya, I don’t think you’d start for that team, Kevin." While the audience (and even Durant's mother) seemed to be laughing, the NBA Finals MVP genuinely appeared to be ticked off. Awkward!
10 Digging For Gold
From Golden State, to Olympic gold, to digging for gold, KD just seems to be obsessed with the precious metal. The omnipotent cameras caught him 'exploring his brain' on the sidelines while taking a break from the action.
It appeared in the video that he actually had a 'mid-game snack' afterwards.
Not only is this an awkward KD pic, but the whole thing is disgusting and embarrassing.
Although, Durant isn't the only NBAer to be caught doing something gross on the bench. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Francis have also been snapped picking their nose, but the king of weird sideline rituals goes to former point guard Mike Bibby. After a habit of biting his finger nails, Bibby evolved to clipping his fingernails during the game. Coaches would even bring him the clippers as soon as he was subbed out. There's nothing like an in-game manicure to ease the nerves!
9 Questionable Fashion
Durant has attempted to dive into the world of fashion, but it looks like he's still in the shallow end. While his Nike Hypebeast shoes are pretty stylish, the rest of his wardrobe could use some work. He started off with a simple accessory: the backpack. During his early days with the Thunder, KD would always sport a backpack, even if he was dressed to the nines. The franchise capitalized on this popular fad, selling the same style backpacks to their fans.
There was also the thick, nerdy glasses phase and the bow-tie trend. For the rest of his ensemble, Durant told the Oklahoman "If I like it, that’s all that matters…"
On top of that, KD is known around the league as a harsh critic of his fellow NBA's style. In a recent Youtube stream, he dogged Draymond Green for his poor style, while surprisingly praised his former OKC brethren Russell Westbrook for having an eccentric taste in clothing.
8 Party, Party, Party
All work and no play makes Kevin a dull boy. While KD may be an intense competitor on the court, he still enjoys a night out on the town, yet it must be awkward when the 6'9" forward towers over the rest of the club. According to TMZ, Durant attended fellow NBAer DeAndre Jordan's 29th-birthday bash in July 2017. Alongside other professional ballers and DJ Diplo, the crew got lit at the Encore Club at the Wynn in Las Vegas.
He may not be on the level of Dennis Rodman, but KD's partying has gotten him into hot water in the past.
In 2014, the NBA star claimed that his phone was hacked when he tweeted a picture of himself blowing out a big cloud of smoke. This resurfaced the rumor that KD had a bad smoking habit in the past, which puts a stain on his otherwise clean public image.
7 It's A Fight!
Typically, Golden State's gangly giant is even-tempered on the court (despite his previous awkward "put 'em up" picture in college). But, KD stepped out of character early in the 2017-2018 season when he got into a scuffle with Pelicans center, and his USA basketball teammate, DeMarcus Cousins.
Both KD and 'Boogie' were jawing at each other throughout the game, throwing the occasional hard shoulder while running through the lane. Then, KD eventually had enough and got into Boogie's face with some not-so-kind words within earshot of the referee. Both players were ejected from the game but the feud wasn't over. According to the New York Post, the New Orleans big man attempted to confront Durant in the Warriors' locker room, but officers were able to take control of the situation.
6 The Amateur Photographer
Most of the time, the former NBA MVP is in front of the camera lens, but on his off days, he joins the rest of the shutterbugs as an amateur photographer. Although the lanky ball player looked out of place among the other media members, he assimilated into the pact, shooting photos at Levi Stadium for Super Bowl 50. Equipped with an expensive telephoto lens, he chronicled the spectacle from the sideline for The Player's Tribune. Durant even used his knowledge of football to get some pretty good shots.
"I’d predict if it was going to be a run or a pass and then focus in on just one player for an entire play."
Unlike the rest of the cameramen, Durant refused to wear the beige credential vest, citing that it was little too small. In the article, he asks the NFL: "Next time, can I get a double XL?"
5 Team USA
While most athletes are all business when it comes to the Olympics, Team USA basketball is typically treating the competition like a intramural tournament. While they are still dominant, some of the jokes and stories that come from the player's social media accounts are hilarious. Whether it's Draymond Green critiquing his teammate's hairlines, Carmelo Anthony ripping on Jimi Hendrix lookalike DeAndre Jordan, or Jimmy Butler confessing that he's scared of the water, the red, white, and blue squad seemed to be having a blast in Rio in 2016.
With Durant leading the team, Team USA breezed by the competition, taking home gold.
He was extremely proud of the medal, leading his friend and teammate, Draymond Green, to tell late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien that KD should just "“give it a break" already!
4 The Westbrook Feud
Once successful teammates, now bitter enemies, the Durant-Westbrook saga has been an enthralling storyline since Durant skipped OKC for Golden State. In 2017,m when the beef was fresh, the two players had some heated exchanges on the court, including a war of words after Westbrook slammed it down on the Warriors in a mid-season matchup.
While KD has tried to downplay his tainted relationship with Westbrook, there is no doubt that their newly-formed rivalry is alive and well. Most recently, per Express, Durant was caught red-handed on social media liking a comment that blamed Westbrook for the Thunder's failure to bring home an NBA championship during their days together. KD later expressed that it was simple mistake on his part that he liked the comment, and there was "no story" behind it. Still, we can't help but think that all is not well between the former duo.
3 Thunder Struck
You've been...Thunderstruck! No, it's not the famous AC/DC anthem, but a low-budget, highly-criticized film starring none other than KD himself. The 2012 film (which has a similar plot to Like Mike) flopped at the box office thanks to an awkward, embarrassing on-screen performance by Durant and company. Don't worry if you haven't seen it, you aren't missing out. It's almost as bad as Shaq's 90s comedy Kazaam!
The movie is now a sore spot for the nine-time All-Star, as he typically refuses to answer any questions about it from the media. Luckily, Durant won't be moving to Hollywood anytime soon, as TMZ asked him if he will consider acting in the future, and his response was simply "No…nope…I play basketball."
2 The Steph Curry Bromance
As we've mentioned, after OKC blew a 3-1 lead to Golden State in the 2016 NBA Playoffs, Durant joined the enemy. With the Warriors, KD has formed a special bond with fellow NBA MVP, Steph Curry. Although, since both players are used to the alpha-role, it took them nearly an entire season to really mesh on the court, but finally they found their roles, culminating in a 16-1 record in the 2017 postseason.
Their 'bromantic' relationship has evolved over the past few years , and with their team dominating the competition, they have been enjoying themselves on the court. In this awkward picture of KD, he is suggestively gesturing to Curry to "come here," proving that the two love birds chemistry is at an all-time high. Let's see if their relationship heads to the next level in the coming months as they attempt to repeat as NBA champions.
1 Finally A Champion
Finally in 2017, after all of KD's awkward moments, came the moment he had been waiting for his entire life: the NBA Championship. Although he was widely criticized from jumping ship in OKC, he truly dominated the competition on the road to becoming the Finals MVP with the Golden State Warriors.
He had finally won the title that had been eluding him for years.
From a skinny high schooler with big dreams to a basketball legend, KD celebrated with his teammates under a shower of confetti in Oracle Arena after the Warriors defeated the Cavaliers in five games. He average 35.2 points, 8 boards and 5.4 assists in one of the most epic Finals performances in NBA history. Now able to lift the Naismith trophy, he has shut down all the haters that were laughing about his failure to bench press 185-lb. nearly a decade ago!