Kevin Durant summed up his — and the Nets — season over the weekend in talking with his agent, business partner and friend Rich Kleiman on the The Boardroom podcast, part of their Thirty-Five Ventures. Picking up on themes he expressed on more than one occasion during the season and in the playoffs, KD praised a lot of what happened along the way but expressed disappointment in the end result.
“I’m getting so many congratulations, like, ‘Man, great year,’ like, ‘Did that.’ Like, I didn’t do anything. We lost. Like, you know what I’m saying? So it’s just — I knew I can play. I knew I was nice. I’ve scored 48 before. I’ve had big games before. I made big shots before. So it wasn’t like — it didn’t feel like anything special to me, because we lost.”
Indeed, Durant averaged averaged 34.3 point, 9.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.6 blocks on 51 percent shooting from the field, 40.2 percent from deep and 87.1 percent from the line while averaging 40 minutes a game. He was so good, many pundits legitimately argued that not only was he back from his 2019 Achilles surgery. He was better!
Despite the loss, which he and everyone else attributed to the Nets string of injuries, Durant saw a lot of positives in Brooklyn.
“But then just the camaraderie we built with the fans, the culture we kind of built around Barclays and just Nets culture in general. People kind of look at the Nets now like — all right, they can be a contender next year. I like that part of it. I was excited about that, going forward.
“And I was excited about that in the regular season. But to be in the playoffs and people see us play in the playoffs, our fans come for some big games in the playoffs — it’s like, it felt pretty solid to start to build a culture, you know what I’m saying? And that’s probably the excitement you’re feeling, too.”
As we noted in our first Off-Season Report, the metrics showed that KD and his two partners in the “Big Three” fueled big changes in the Nets popularity around the city as well as the world. Durant misses nothing.
“It was fun, man. Especially with the Knicks playing and us playing.” Durant said. “We’ve got two teams in the playoffs and Knicks, Nets fans got a little beef right now because both teams are solid. We’ve got the Madison Square Garden, Barclays beef as well in the city. So it just felt like a lot of energy, man. You look in our stands, you’re seeing superstars there — Beyoncé, Jay-Z, H.E.R., Bryan Cranston ... Travis Scott.
“So I’m like, ‘Yo, you see that energy floating around in our building for games like that now. What’s next year going to look like?’ And so, people got that picture in their minds ... it’s cool to be a part of that s**t — you know what I’m saying? — and help build that s**t. I felt that like the last few days, leaving the arena and s**t like that. It was fun.”
He spoke as well about he thinks he could have played other pro sports, particularly mentioning baseball and football.
“Any sport I put my mind to if I started at an early age like when I started basketball,” Durant said. Although Kleiman said Durant can throw a football 60 yards, Durant said his natural position was as a wideout.
“I can be a wideout at least...Well, I could go, all go routes,” said KD. Kleiman joked there would be skeptics noting how how skinny he is.
A big Redskins fan, Durant has in the past mentioned how he excited he was when the then-Redskins moved to Landover, Maryland, close to his home in Capitol Heights in Prince Georges County, Maryland.
He and Kleiman didn’t talk about his extension, but at the same time he’s been unfailingly positive about his experience in Brooklyn and New York and two days after he recorded the Out of Office segment, he sat courtside with the guy who’ll ultimately have to sign off on the deal, owner Joe Tsai.
- Kevin Durant reflects on season: ‘People kind of look at the Nets now like — all right, they can be a contender next year’ - Garrett Stepien - SNY
- Revisiting Kevin Durant’s greatest shots as he calls his latest nothing special - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News