McDonald's All-American Game: Kevin Durant Interview

McDonald's All-American Game: Kevin Durant Interview
Mar 29, 2006, 04:00 am
DraftExpress Director of Prep Scouting Rodger Bohn recently had the chance to sit down and talk with high school star Kevin Durant. Durant spoke with DraftExpress about his decision to attend Texas, the NBA’s new age limit, and the areas of his game that must be improved upon before he reaches his full potential.

At 6’10, there are few, if any, players at his age and size that have the perimeter game Durant has. The SG/SF/PF has NBA three point range, can shoot off the dribble, and is incredibly coordinated for a player his size. It is not uncommon to see Durant pull up from 23 or 24 feet on one possession, only to break his man down off of the dribble and hit a silky smooth 17 footer on the very next possession. The Texas recruit also has the ability to handle the ball incredibly well for a 6’10 player, enabling him to get by smaller players with ease. Durant’s passing ability has also improved greatly over the past year, as he shows legitimate potential to be a full time wing player, although many feel he would be much better suited as a face the basket power forward.

While Durant is remarkably skilled, he does have a few weaknesses. First of all, he is extremely thin at only around 200 pounds. He desperately needs to bulk up, regardless of what forward position he winds up playing in college. His next glaring weakness is his defense. While Kevin possesses excellent lateral quickness for a player of his size, he defends a bit too upright, allowing guards to drive by him with relative ease. Durant seems to understand that these are his two biggest weaknesses and will be working all summer and fall to improve on them by the time the season rolls around next year at Texas.

Aside from Greg Oden, Durant has more potential then any other high school senior in an absolutely loaded class of 2006. At only 17 years old (not turning 18 until October), he has plenty of time to improve upon the few deficiencies that he has in his game in order to reach his fullest potential. Through the first three days of McDonald’s game practices, Durant has looked the best of any player on the floor, including Greg Oden.

Draft fans can tune in and watch Durant, Oden, and all of the other stars of the class of 2006 in tonight’s McDonald’s All American Game, being broadcasted at 10:00 PM EST on ESPN.


DraftExpress: Who do you feel your game resembles the most?

Durant: Rashard Lewis. Then maybe T-Mac.

DraftExpress: How do you feel your game resembles theirs?

Durant: Because of our versatility. We can all do so much on the court as far as helping our teams out. That’s why I’d compare myself to those guys.

DraftExpress: At 6’10, most players your size are playing down low as power forwards. What made you decide that you’d like to play outside on the perimeter?

Durant: Most of the players in the NBA that are doing good my size are playing on the perimeter. I feel that if I play the same position, maybe things will work out for me.

DraftExpress: Who would you say the toughest player you’ve ever went up against is?

Durant: O.J. Mayo is pretty good. There are a lot of other players that I could name, but if I had to pick one, I’d say O.J gave me the most trouble.

DraftExpress: What aspects of your game do you feel that you need to improve upon most?

Durant: Defense. Defense, and my overall strength.

DraftExpress: Obviously you’re a bit thin for a player of your size. Has Texas given you any sort of weight training regimen for the time being?

Durant: I’m just going to wait until I get down to campus for Texas’ program. I lift a lot of weights at my school. Once I get down to Texas for summer school, I’m going to be on a strict schedule as far as weights.

DraftExpress: What made you decide on Texas?

Durant: It just seemed to be the best situation for me. I loved the coaches when I went on the visit. Everything just worked out. They needed a player in my position the most, so hopefully I’ll be able to go in there and start. Hopefully.

DraftExpress: What position do you think you’ll play at Texas?

Durant: The three and the four. Whatever the team needs me to do. I’m just going to come in and work hard.

DraftExpress: So if you played the four, you’d obviously be more of a perimeter oriented power forward?

Durant: I mean, I’ll take smaller players in the post and I’ll take bigger guys outside. Whatever coach needs me to do.

DraftExpress: Do you envision yourself playing in the NBA?

Durant: A little bit of both forward positions in the NBA. If I go to the NBA eventually, hopefully I can play both. Just whatever the team needs me to play.

DraftExpress: Had the NBA not put in their age limit, would you have entered the NBA Draft?

Durant: You never know. It depends on how I played my senior year and the all-star games. I’m glad I don’t have to focus on that right now. Everybody was talking to me about it. It was kind of getting on my nerves a little bit Now that it’s over with, I HAVE to go to college. It makes me feel a little better this way, knowing that I have to go to school. Hopefully I’ll get to the NBA one day, but there’s no rush.

DraftExpress: Do you speak with the Texas players who might enter the NBA Draft, Daniel Gibson, PJ Tucker, and LaMarcus Aldridge?

Durant: I’ve talked to them a couple of times. I tried not to talk to them recently since they just lost and everything. I don’t want to get them mad at me, but I have talked to them a couple of times.

DraftExpress: How do you think you’d fit in with Tucker and Aldridge on the front line if they stay?

Durant: It will all work out. We have a freshman D.J. (Augustin) playing the one, Daniel at the two, me at the three and the four, P.J. at the four, and LaMarcus at the five. It will all work out. We’ll just play together.

DraftExpress: Thanks a lot Kevin. Best of luck in the game tomorrow.

Durant: Thank you.

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