There are few bigger names in the NBA than Kevin Durant. He’s had a highly-decorated basketball career, and will certainly go down in history as one of the greatest ever.
There are a few tidbits that you may not know about the former MVP winner, though. Today we have five that might just give you a surprise or two.
The reason behind Durant wearing the number 35 in memory of his mentor and good friend Charles Craig. Craig was the one who pretty much taught Durant the game of basketball at a young age.
Unfortunately, Craig was murdered outside of a bar Laurel, Maryland bar in April of 2005. There was reportedly a fight inside the bar, and Craig was shot multiple times and killed as he made his way to the car after exiting the venue.
Durant, who was 16 at that time and just a few days before he started his college career in Texas was absolutely devastated by the incident. Craig was 35 when he was murdered, which is the reason why Durant has been wearing that very number on his shirt ever since.
2. He has his jersey retired by Texas
Speaking about his jersey number, it was actually retired by the Texas Longhorns despite Durant playing just one season for the school. It was quite a memorable year, though, with a very young Durant averaging 25.8 points (on 47.3 percent shooting), 11.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.9 blocks, while also connecting on 2.3 triples per game on a 40.4-percent clip.
3. KD the Meteorologist
According to reports, one of Durant’s dream jobs growing up was to be a weather forecaster. He was fascinated by meteorology as a kid, and seemed set in pursuing this career when he grew up.
Thankfully, he opted for basketball instead. He has been making it rain on the court for quite a while now, so I guess that’s still somehow connected to his childhood passion.
4. He was engaged once
As of writing, Durant is still without a family at the age of 31 — a very eligible bachelor, if you will. However, what not many may know is that he was actually once engaged to be married.
Durant met Monica Wright, a former WNBA player, in high school and the two got engaged in 2013. Things didn’t exactly work out, though, and the two called it off.
“I had a fiancée, but…I really didn’t know how to, like, love her, you know what I’m saying?” Durant once told GQ. “We just went our separate ways.”
5. He wanted to play for the Raptors
One of Durant’s basketball heroes as a kid was Vince Carter, who at that time was plying his trade with the Toronto Raptors. Naturally, Durant had an affinity for the Raptors and actually wanted to play for the team once he entered the NBA.
In the end, it was the Seattle SuperSonics who drafted Durant in 2007 as the second overall pick. For those wondering, Greg Oden went first overall in that draft, and the Raptors didn’t even have a pick in that year’s draft.
Ironically, it was Toronto that put an end to Durant’s highly-successful stint with the Warriors, when Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors upset the dynasty-seeking Dubs in an unforgettable Finals series in 2019. Durant packed his bags and headed to the Brooklyn Nets shortly after that series defeat.