Durant: people told me I couldn’t do stuff
As a scrawny kid growing up on the outskirts of Maryland, Kevin Durant took every slight opportunity as a motivation to improve as a basketball player.
Whether they were opponents on the neighborhood hardcourt or his family, the Golden State Warriors star always felt he had something to prove.
“It all started when people told me I can’t do stuff,” said Durant when asked to retrace his journey from Seat Pleasant to basketball royalty in front of select journalists at The Peninsula Manila on Monday.
“Even my brothers, my cousins, they would tell me I’m not good enough. Obviously, that lit the competitive fire in me.”
Looking back, Durant is grateful he had people around him who challenged him and at the same time, were supportive of his dreams from the Amateur Athletic Union to the collegiate ranks and now in the National Basketball Association.
“Just having good men and women in my life, I take inspiration from that,” he said during the media session that capped his whirlwind two-day trip to the Philippines dubbed “Rise, Grind, Shine” Tour organized by sportswear giant Nike.
Durant said he felt “the Filipinos’ deep and genuine love for basketball” in his first visit to the country since 2011 when he played with fellow NBA stars in an exhibition game.
“You can just feel the energy,” said Durant, who also played with collegiate stars at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday. “There’s genuine love for the game here and it’s rare. You feel great and optimistic that the game is pushing forward because that is our vision as basketball players.”
More importantly, Durant takes pride in his work ethic, which he said is something he’d like young players to learn from.
“Always believe you can conquer something and then go for it,” he said. “Even when days are rough and you feel you can’t do it, always remember its worth it.”
And while he has two NBA titles and back to back Finals MVP awards as rewards, Durant knows he can still get better.
“I can be better at every part of my game,” he said.