Former MVP back to full strength after Achilles injury
For a guy who suffered what would ordinarily be a career-ending injury not that long ago, Kevin Durant has certainly looked every bit his old self. Maybe even better.
Indeed, in the season’s first few weeks, while his Brooklyn Nets struggled on court and with the controversial absence of point guard Kyrie Irving, their 33-year-old power forward has been playing arguably the best basketball of his career, scoring over 25 points in each of his first five games and ranking among the league leaders in points and rebounds.
This comes nearly six months after his virtuoso performance in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, when he put the Nets on his back and nearly willed them past the Milwaukee Bucks. In that series, he averaged 35.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the Nets’ seven-game loss to the eventual NBA champs.
And he’s about to become historically great. As of late October, he stood 26th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with just over 24,000 career points, within easy range of passing No. 25 Allen Iverson (24,368), No. 24 Ray Allen (24,505) and No. 23 Patrick Ewing (24,815) this season.
No one could have foreseen his prolific performance when he went down with a torn Achilles tendon in the NBA Finals in June 2019. But here he is, continuing on his path to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame — and what the talented Nets and their faithful hope, is a league title.
Durant and the Nets can be seen in action Tuesday, Nov. 30, when they play host to the crosstown rival New York Knicks in a game airing on TNT.
Full name: Kevin Wayne Durant
Birth date: Sept. 29, 1988
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Height/Weight: 6 feet, 10 inches/240 pounds
Draft: Selected in the first round (second overall) by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007
Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics (2007-16); Golden State Warriors (2016-19); Brooklyn Nets (2019-present)
Position: Power forward
Honors and achievements: 11-time NBA All-Star (2010-2019, 2021); NBA champion (2017, 2018); NBA Finals MVP (2017, 2018); NBA MVP Award (2014); four-time NBA scoring champion (2010-12, 2014); All-Star Game MVP (2012, 2019); NBA Rookie of the Year (2008); three-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist (2012, 2016, 2020)