The Story Behind Kevin Durant’s #35 Jersey

by March 24, 2010
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KD tells the Oklahoman what inspired him to don this particular number: “Kevin Durant’s face turned hard and his eyes welled up. He gazed straight ahead as he reflected on the man he affectionately referred to as ‘Big Chucky.’ Charles Craig was supposed to be by Durant’s side — when he signed his letter of intent to Texas, continuing the basketball jones Craig first created, and when he sat in the Green Room on the night of the 2007 NBA Draft, eagerly counting down the final moments before he fulfilled his dream as the No. 2 overall pick. ‘It just didn’t happen,’ murmured a melancholy Durant last week. Craig was Durant’s first basketball coach. He died on April 30, 2005, in Laurel, Md., the victim of multiple gunshot wounds. He was 35. Since his freshman season at the University of Texas, Durant has worn jersey No. 35 in honor of Chucky. ‘I just want as many people as I can to know why I wear it and the significance of the number,’ Durant said. ‘That’s my goal is to get him out there and keep his name alive.”‘