Kevin Durant is making his rounds at All-Star Weekend in New Orleans and before his standard Friday availability, he talked with ESPN Radio about how the Thunder are playing so well right now, what it would mean to win MVP and who his toughest one-on-one matchup would be.
On his extra scoring gear: “To be honest, I’m not doing anything different. I’m preparing the right way, I’m focusing on the gameplan every single game and I’m just going out there and playing to be honest. Simple.”
On turning things around after a 5-5 start without Westbrook: “We just figured it out. Defensively, I think, is where we made strides. That’s where we’re going to win basketball games, if we defend. And I think what really clicked for us, we lost to Memphis, a tough game in Memphis, then we played Houston and we gave up 73 points in the first half, then 19 points in the second half, and I think everybody in our locker room knew why we won that basketball game. Solely just based off defensive pressure, physicality and just playing together on the offensive end and after that we ran off 10 straight and we’re just trying to keep it up.”
On winning MVP: “It would mean a lot. MVP in this league, you can’t downgrade that. It doesn’t matter who you are or how many you’ve won, you can’t downgrade MVP. Of course the ultimate prize is to win the championship. But as far as of regular season accolades that’s right up there at the top. It would be cool. But that’s out of my control. Only thing I can control is how I play the game and everything else after that will fall in line.”
On who Marc Stein should vote for: “That’s up to you … nah I just play the games, man. You make your decisions. I trust you.”
On why is OKC such a perfect fit: “I’m a basketball guy. P.J. knows, I’m a basketball guy. Give me a nice gym, a basketball, that’s all I want to do. No matter where I play at, that’s all I want to do, that’s all it comes down to for me. And Oklahoma City’s just a perfect spot. Our organization they do a great job for us, just making sure everything is set out for us every single day and it’s a joy to play for them.”
On what he’s looking to do at All-Star Weekend: “Try to get some sleep, that’s the first thing. But just enjoying the weekend. Can’t this for granted. My rookie year … we were here in New Orleans and I was just walking around and looking at all the All-Stars and just dreaming I would be here one day. And now this is my fifth one. I’m growing, I’m getting a little older. But it’s exciting to be here and I never want to take it for granted and enjoy the process and get ready for the second half.”
On his toughest matchup: “Kobe and Carmelo. They just have an array of moves that can get me off balance. They’re strong on defense as well, but Kobe is just the ultimate one-on-one player. It would be fun playing against him but it would be tough to beat him.”