Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has accomplished just about everything there is to accomplish in the NBA, but the accolades don’t really matter to him.
“I don’t need anything in this basketball world to fulfill anything in me,” Durant said in an interview. “The NBA is never going to fulfill me. It’s going to make me feel good about all of the work that I’ve put in, but I think those days of me wanting to prove something to anybody or walk around with a huge chip on my shoulder is not my thing.
“It wasn’t before, and I felt like I had to program myself to play with a chip on my shoulder, but I’m never good in that situation. I’m more relaxed and letting these days flow. I’m the best version of me. I don’t feel like I need anything like that to prove who I am. I’ve been in it for too long.”
Durant is coming off his second All-Star Game MVP award. He has won two NBA championships and was the Finals MVP both times. The list goes on: league MVP (2014), 10 All-Star selections, rookie of the year, four NBA scoring titles, a gold medal …But it doesn’t drive him, he says.
“Being around family. Being around friends. The people who actually love you deep down to your core, who won’t judge you, who will let you grow mentally, physically, you know? Just let you be who you are. I like those environments,” he said.
“I love to continue to push the limits on who I am as a person. Just the flow of life and the type of people I want to be around, the environment I want to live in. All that stuff will fulfill me more so than anything … just building toward something that’s sustained when I’m not even here on this Earth.”
Durant is not expected to opt in to the final year of his contract with the Warriors, worth $31.5 million, instead testing free agency this summer.
“I know the NBA helped me get there, but I’m not going to be forever indebted to the NBA because this is a 50-50 exchange,” Durant said. “I’ve worked hard to get here, to be at this level, and they gave me a platform to showcase what I can do. We both helped each other out. That’s how I look at it.”