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#pounditFriday, May 7, 2021

Kevin Durant reveals what drives him after winning NBA titles

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant was accused of chasing rings when he joined the Golden State Warriors. He ended up winning two, and he’s going to be one of the favorites to add a third this year with the Brooklyn Nets. However, he insists that championships are no longer his major motivator.

Durant said he simply wants to be the best player he can be, and that winning his first championship helped make that goal clearer.

“I wasn’t expecting to be a happy human being from a title,” Durant told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “I was just expecting like, you know, the ending of a movie — once you worked so hard and everybody tells you like, ‘Yo, this is what you need to be working for, is this gold ball and these rings.’ And I’m just like, ‘All right, cool, let me lock in on that.’ And I locked in on wanting to achieve that, but I also realized it’s a lot of stuff that factors in it that’s out of my control.

“And once I won a championship, I realized that, like, my view on this game is really about development. Like, how good can I be? It’s not about, you know, let’s go get this championship. I appreciate that stuff and I want to win to experience that stuff, but it’s not the end-all, be-all of why I play the game.”

Durant’s injury issues have helped clarify things too. The veteran forward missed the entire 2019-20 season after suffering an Achilles injury, and has also dealt with a hamstring injury this season.

Durant is a player whose off-court drama has sometimes overshadowed his on-court accomplishments. He remains one of the most accomplished scorers in the modern NBA and an incredible all-around player. Now that he seems settled in Brooklyn, maybe the 32-year-old can put aside some of the gossip and remind everyone how good he can be. It sounds like that’s ultimately what he’s after.

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