Kevin Durant on Clutch Play: ‘I’m Not Where I Want to Be’

by June 04, 2012

At just the age of 23, Kevin Durant is already one of the NBA’s ultimate clutch performers. This was on display during his fourth quarter takeover of Game 4 in the Western Conference Finals — during which he scored 18 of his game-high 36 points — but KD says he’s far from being satisfied. Per the Oklahoman: “His ability to make shots under pressure is great,’ said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. ‘But I like the fact this year he’s really stepped up on making plays and making the right play.’ […] ‘I’m not where I want to be, but I’m going to keep growing in those situations,’ Durant said. ‘I think those tough times are going to help me get better.’ The truth is those tough times are what got Durant to this point. They started when, as a rookie in Seattle, Durant stepped onto a Sonics squad that had traded stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis shortly after Durant was drafted. […] When Allen and Lewis were both dealt, Durant was put on the path to get to this very position at which he stands tall today. Those early days, though, weren’t pretty. ‘His first year, he was (down) on the floor a lot,’ said Brooks, an assistant then. ‘He wasn’t backing down, but he didn’t have the strength to finish and he didn’t have the strength to get to his spots. People were knocking him around. But we just told him keep getting up, keep doing your work on and off the court and he has. Very rarely now do you see him on the floor.'”