Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM
| June 24, 2007
did not really need to work out. The Texas forward is nearly certain to be taken by the Seattle SuperSonics second overall if he is not first chosen by the Portland Trail Blazers with the first pick. That scenario led Ohio State center Greg Oden
, the other potential top two pick, to forego a workout with the Sonics on the advice of his agent when he visited Seattle Thursday and Friday.
Durant, however, went ahead and worked out for the team's new front office of General Manager Sam Presti and Assistant GMs Rich Cho and Scott Perry.
"I think I shot the ball well overall. I handled the ball well. We'll see how it went if they pick me on the 28th."
"I think everybody in the organization wanted to see me work out," explained Durant
Though the Sonics choosing another player outside of whichever of Oden and Durant the Blazers do not select would be a stunning move, Durant took nothing for granted, saying his goal was, "to sell myself to Seattle as well" after visiting Portland and working out on Friday.
In a session that he estimated at 35-45 minutes, Durant demonstrated his ballhandling and went through shooting and post-up drills.
"I think it went really well," he said. "I think I shot the ball good. I could have shot it better, but I think I shot the ball well overall. I handled the ball well. We'll see how it went if they pick me on the 28th."
During his introduction to the Seattle media following his workout, Durant was candid about his ability and the development he has made since this time a year ago, when he was a highly-touted prospect but Oden was considered the certain top player in their class. Oden did nothing to hurt his stock during his lone season at Ohio State, but Durant elevated himself into the discussion by averaging 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, becoming the first freshman ever to win the Naismith and Wooden Awards as well as the AP's Player of the Year.
"It helped me out a lot," said Durant of his year in college. "A lot of people thought I was just a skinny three-point shooter going into college. I think I proved to people I can do a lot more than shoot threes. I think I showed my midrange game, my post-up game, going to the basket. Me being in college, it helped me out a lot, working with my coaches at Texas and my teammates to prepare me for the next level."
Durant's performance earned him comparisons to NBA All-Stars including Tracy McGrady and Dirk Nowitzki, talk he downplayed.
"It's an honor for people to be saying those things about me, but right now I haven't done anything yet," Durant said. "I haven't put on an NBA jersey; I haven't played a game or practiced. I just want to try to get better and better every day. I'm not going to say I'm going to be a Hall of Famer right off the bat. I just want to get better and better. If I become that good, I'm happy with it."
Declining to set out any specific goals for his rookie season in the NBA, Durant instead focused on his desire for continuous improvement.
"I just take it a day at a time," he said. "Hopefully tomorrow I can be a better person and a better player. That's all I can say."
Before visiting the Blazers, Durant had been working out in Seattle under the guidance of his agency, Goodwin Sports Management. During his free time, Durant found one of the few tour guides who could see eye-to-eye with him, former UW center and probable lottery pick Spencer Hawes.
"Spencer took me around a little bit," said Durant, who reported Hawes had been trying to sell him on the merits of Seattle as compared to Portland. "It's a great city. The people here are nice. It would be a great place to live."
Two and a half months after declaring for the NBA Draft and a little more than a month after the NBA Draft Lottery likely ensured he was headed for the Pacific Northwest, Durant has had little time to step back and think about his fate.
"It's been a whirlwind so far," Durant said. "It's been fun. I think I'm still dreaming. These last couple of months have been real hectic for me and my family. This upcoming week is going to be real hectic, but this is what I wanted to do. I'm happy, I'm enjoying it. I'm glad I'm going through this process and I wouldn't want it any other way."
In four days, Durant will know whether his future will be with the Blazers or the Sonics.
"It's not like college, where I can pick a team," he said. "I'm just waiting for a team to pick me. I like both organizations."