Durant Honored to be All-Star Starter
For the fourth consecutive season, Thunder forward Kevin Durant has been named a starter for the Western Conference All-Star team. When Durant travels to New Orleans for All-Star weekend in mid-February, it will be the fifth time the three-time NBA scoring champion and four-time All-NBA First Team selection will represent the Western Conference as an All-Star.
Durant is the NBA’s leading scorer so far this season at 31.0 points per game, a career-high, and is also averaging career-bests in assists at 5.1 and 1.5 steals per game. The former NBA Rookie of the Year has steadily improved as a player during his seven seasons in the NBA and six in Oklahoma City. This year he is shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 41.3 percent from the three-point line and 88.2 percent from the free throw line, but it his leadership that has been instrumental in helping the Thunder get off to a Western Conference-best 33-10 start and a big factor in being voted in as a starter for the Western Conference in the All-Star Game.
“As far as individual accolades, that’s right at the top,” Durant said. “That’s something you always want to achieve once you come into this league. I’m truly blessed that the fans voted for me once again. It’s a tremendous honor and I’ll go down there and try to represent as much as I can.”
In January, Durant is averaging 36.9 points and 5.8 assists per game, as his team went 8-4 in the month. Durant has scored 30-or-more points in each of his last nine games, including a career-high 54 in a home win over the Golden State Warriors on January 17th. With Games of 54, 48, 48 and 46 points, Durant has registered the four highest scoring games in the NBA this season.
Proving that he continues to become a more complete and successful all-around player, Durant registered a triple double this season with a 32-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist performance in a home win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on December 1st.
Durant’s intelligence and continued work to expand his game has helped elevate the Thunder to new heights. Teammates appreciate the way Durant has helped others find their own scoring opportunities within the flow of the offense, and become a more well-rounded player on the defensive end.
His leadership has helped the team succeed despite the absence of Russell Westbrook due to a knee injury, and his playmaking and support has helped young players like Reggie Jackson, Serge Ibaka, Jeremy Lamb and Steven Adams grow along with him. As a result, Durant has been chosen to represent Oklahoma City in the All Star Game by garnering the most fan votes out of any player in the Western Conference.
“It’s for the fans and you’re also playing with the best players in the world and being considered with the top players in the league is a great accomplishment,” Durant said. “I’m excited again and looking forward to going down there.”