On Boardroom’s “The ETCs” podcast, KD takes us back to June 28, 2007 at Madison Square Garden, a night in which his life would change forever.
As far as draft night suits go, Kevin Durant’s was rather modest, much like the man himself: A dark-gray getup with a burnt orange tie and pocket square to pay homage to his beloved University of Texas. The Seattle Supersonics’ No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft would never again look as unassuming, going on to win the Rookie of the Year award that season to kick off what would grow into a legendary career.
Even 15 years later, the memories of that night still excite KD.
“Your whole life, you hear about it,” Durant said of the ’07 draft on the latest episode of “The ETCs” podcast. “You want to be able to take care of your family and new city, new money, buy whatever you want, you know, to live as a grown-up now.”
Durant was looking forward to seeing Thursday night’s 2022 draft and seeing so many young lives changed in an instant.
“It’s always good to see young players coming to the league and fulfilling their dreams of being an NBA player,” Durant said. “Stepping to being a millionaire, that’s a huge lifestyle change. I get excited to see these dudes get that opportunity.”
But even with that excitement looking forward to the future, one can’t help but look back at Durant’s draft, and all of the potential in the building that night as well. Hindsight says Durant should have been the clear No. 1 overall pick; on the night, Greg Oden was ultimately the top selection courtesy of the Portland Trail Blazers. And while there was a reasonable amount of debate, the big man out of Ohio State was prevailing considered the safest bet.
Injuries would derail Oden’s career, shattering what could have been. And while Durant may have once wished he’d been No. 1 that night, that feeling has waned and KD has moved on.
“I understood that pick,” KD said. “Greg was a monster. He was just a dominant big, so if it was somebody in my position or something, maybe [I’d still be upset], but I felt like that was a can’t-miss pick at that time.”
Notably, KD did work out with the Blazers. According to the man himself, it went well.
For the most part.
“They said it was the best workout that they had,” Durant said. “I mean, they probably were gassing. I remember air-balling a couple threes. I remember being tired as hell on a few drills, but yeah, that process was fun, man. You go from living in a dorm room to now being almost recruited by NBA teams. It was dope.”