McGary says he’s actually lost close to 30 pounds since the end of last season. And the second-year Thunder forward is feeling how much of a difference the dropped weight has made. “I’m still trying to get used to the change,” McGary said before cracking a sly smile. “I didn’t know I could jump this high.” McGary credits the weight loss to cooking classes, a healthier diet and rigorous workouts. By eating better and transforming his body, McGary believes he’ll put himself in a better position to stay healthy and play the best basketball of his life.
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When you see all the attention LaMarcus and DeAndre [Jordan] have gotten the past few days, have you thought at all about next summer and yourself? Kevin Durant: “No I haven’t thought about it. I hear it all the time but I really am just focusing on rehab. I can’t get there unless I take care of today. That’s the way I look at it even though I hear it from every side, thinking past to next summer. But I’m not even trying to focus on that. I’m excited about our team, our new coaches and just trying to get back right.”
Is next year going to be hard for you, with all the questions about your future? “Man, this is the toughest year I’ve ever been through in my life, as far as basketball is concerned. Just to be back on the floor, all that other stuff doesn’t really matter to me. Everything, all that stuff, from distractions to that type of stuff really don’t matter because I get to do something I love and I can’t wait to get back out there and be fully cleared to play, but to be honest man, my main thing is just getting rid of distractions no matter what and focusing on what I have to do. I just can’t wait to play the game I love again, that’s all I’m focused on.”
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You look bigger. Have you put on some weight? Kevin Durant: “Yeah, I think I gotta lose some weight to be honest. But I’ve been putting in a lot of work in the weight room. I haven’t moved at all for 12 or 13 weeks, so last week was really the first time I’ve got on the court and dropped some sweat. I’ve just been working out in the weight room and eating and just resting up, so like I said, last week was really the first time I got on the court.”
Last year was obviously a tough spot for you. Are you in a better place mentally now? Durant: “It was really tough. Looking back on it now, there’s a lot of stuff I would’ve changed but it was necessary to go through what I had to go through, mentally, and I’m in a great space right now. Maybe because I’m closer and closer to playing again but I’m in a great space.” What you mean, what would you have changed? Durant: “Just stuff I said. Sometimes I let a lot of stuff bother me that I shouldn’t have. I read a lot of stuff that I probably shouldn’t have. Lesson learned for me. Trial and error. It is what it is, man. I’m just trying to continue focusing on getting better and rehabbing and killing that part of this journey and hopefully getting ready for next season.”
But first things first: how’s the foot? “We’re close to Phase 3 now,” Durant happily reported. “A three-phase rehab. It’s going well. I’m jumping when I’m shooting. I’m not quite running and cutting yet but I’m almost there. So it’s going well. I’m excited.” Durant said he’s still on track to be cleared for full basketball activities sometime next month, and barring any setbacks the 2014 MVP should be a go by opening night. “We’re doing X-rays every two weeks and it’s looking good,” Durant said. “I’m excited to get back, man.”