HoopsHype.com Interviews

Kevin Durant: "I want to be a winner, point blank"
by Senad Mustafic / January 10, 2008

You are in your first year in the NBA. How would you summarize your experience thus far?

Kevin Durant: It has been fun. My experience is something that I have a lot of fun going through. I’ve had an opportunity to play against all kinds of players that I look up to. It has been an up and down season but I think that, as a team, we are playing better and better. Overall, a very fun season thus far.

Looking back at the past summer, do you think that it was a good idea to leave college?

KD: I think so. I think that it was a great opportunity for me to fulfill the dream I had for a long time. I had to take it. I think that it was a good idea. I am learning a lot about the game and about growing up, just by being in the NBA. I think that it was a good decision.

When you look at other teams in the NBA, are you happy that Sonics were the team that picked you up on the draft day? Are you happy with your surroundings, the environment, the organization?

KD: I think that I am in a great position to succeed, with great coaches and great players that can help me out. Wherever I would have gone, I would have been happy, but with the Sonics, I think that I have a great opportunity to become a better player.

Ray Allen commented in one of his interviews that it would have been a good learning experience for you to play with him and Rashard Lewis had both stayed in Seattle. What is your take on that?

KD: I think I would have learned a lot from both of those guys. They are All-Stars and have been in this league for quite some time. They would have taught me a lot. Unfortunately, they are not here. But I am learning from other guys, other veterans on this team. Coaches are giving me a chance to play and telling me to learn on the fly a little bit. That has been fun.

Although Sonics do not have many wins yet, they seem to play pretty good against teams with good records. For instance, you were pretty close against the Celtics, who have the best record in the league.

KD: We are usually very close early on. We gave up some easy buckets in the fourth quarter to guys to whom you can’t give easy buckets. Guys like Paul Pierce, for example. You can’t allow him to have open shots like we did in that game. I kind of lost him sometimes. But I think that overall, we play tough and hopefully next time we can come up with a win against really good teams.

You went against Paul Pierce and many other great players. As a rookie, who are you most excited to play against?

KD: Every player, every game is exciting. Every star player in this league is fun to go against. They bring a lot of passion to the game. Some extra competitiveness. That only gets you better.

What is your main ambition for the career? All-Star game? Championship?

KD: I want to be a winner, point blank. I want to be a champion in this league. I want to be one of the people who earn the right to call themselves a champion. I want to be a champion and the main contributor on the team and that is what I want to achieve while in this league. Hopefully, I can get that.

I will name you three players who have, as draftees, completely changed their organizations: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. Looking at what each of these players has accomplished, who would you like to be compared to the most in your future career?

KD: I think Dwyane Wade. He won a championship and that is what I want to do. LeBron has been to the championship game, Carmelo has taken his team to the playoffs three straight years. Those three guys are guys I would like to follow. I just want to be a winner, point blank. I have been to the finals, in my college career. The next thing I know, I’m a rookie and we are losing… I want to change that, want to be a winner. That’s all.

They have been saying that Sonics may leave Seattle. Do you think that should happen?

KD: I don’t know. I am not really thinking about that too much. I am just worried about playing the game.

Is there something that you would miss from this city, if it does happen that you have to move?

KD: I would rather not answer that question. I am not even thinking about leaving. We are here in Seattle now and I am loving it.

Senad Mustafic is a Phoenix correspondent of Sportska Centrala, a sports news agency from Serbia

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