Winning a championship is no longer all that motivates Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant. After all, he has won two. Instead, he says it’s the desire to be at his best as a player that drives him.
“I didn’t expect to be a happy human being for a title,” Durant told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview that aired Saturday on SportsCenter. “I was just expecting something like, you know, the end of a movie, once you worked so hard and everyone was like, ‘This is what you need to work for, it’s this golden ball and these rings.’ And I was like, “Okay, great, let me focus on that.” And I focused on wanting to achieve that, but I also realized that there are many things that influence it, that are out of my control. “
“And once I won a championship [con Golden State], I realized that my point of view on this game is really about development. Like, how good can I be? It’s not about, you know, we’re going to get this championship. He appreciated those things and I want to win to experience that feeling, but it’s not the end, and it’s not all that motivates me in the game. “
Durant is averaging 28.4 points, 7.3 points and 5.3 assists in his first active season with the Nets after missing the entire 2019-20 season while recovering from an Achilles tendon injury.
“I’ve been around, I’ve been out of the game for two years and I have anxiety like, ‘What am I going to do when I get back?'” Said Durant, who is in his 14th NBA season after playing with the Warriors and Thunder. “Being out of action with an Achilles makes you think about the game differently. And my goal is to be out there, you know. Who knows what’s going to happen when I’m out there. [jugando]. I just want to be available. And I think that’s all I really want to get out of this, to be available for as long as I can. And we’ll see what happens between the lines. “
After missing 23 games this season due to a hamstring injury, Durant returned to a standing ovation Wednesday night, coming off the bench for the second time in his career and responding with 17 points on 5-of-5. shots from the field in 19 minutes of a landslide victory against the New Orleans Pelicans.
That game was only the seventh that the team’s Big 3, with James Harden and Kyrie Irving, have been on the court together this season.
“I think our experiences with Team USA definitely helped,” Durant said of the developing chemistry between the three stars. “When you’re in that environment, I wouldn’t say you have to shrink, but you really have to control your ego and figure out when you need to use it. You may have to step back for the team to be good. And I think we all understand that.” .
“… I love what we are building … Everyone contributes their part. Everyone is valuable. And we are just trying to create something special for people to see and for players to come and play.”