SAN DIEGO – Kevin Durant celebrated his 33rd birthday Wednesday in San Diego with a cake and rookies from the Brooklyn Nets serenading the star.
Now in his 15th season, Durant says he is “growing every day” and understands the game more as it adapts and evolves to changes in the sport. And he says he is “more comfortable” and mentally relaxed at this stage in his career than when he was younger.
“[Cuando eres más joven] you want to establish yourself in the league, “Durant said Thursday after the Nets’ practice at their training camp at the University of San Diego.” Sometimes you can overthink it and overthink the reactions and opinions of others because you’re in the path to perfection. But you start to relax a little bit and understand what it’s all about and understand the game in the long run, and it definitely made my mind a little more comfortable going to the gym every day and not concentrating on other things. “
As Durant prepares for his second season on the court and his third overall with the Nets, he and teammates Kyrie Irving and James Harden enter camp with huge championship expectations. But Durant said the pressure won’t affect this group of veterans gathered to win it all.
“Yeah, external pressure doesn’t matter that much,” Durant said when asked if pressure is an issue at this stage in his career. “I think we all push ourselves internally because we stay at a high level and you want to play well every time you go out, that’s who we are as competitors.
“As for outside noise, don’t be disrespectful to you [los medios], to our families, friends, and even our fans who expect us to do so much, if we don’t live up to that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. But we want to go out and play basketball every night and we stay at that level. I hope we come out with some arrogance and intensity. But outside noise shouldn’t matter much to this group. “
Durant focuses on the daily details, such as his approach to each practice rep. He also says that he has tried to adapt his game over time to how the sport is played and how rival coaches have tried to defend it.
“It’s just the evolution of the game,” said Durant, who began his career in 2007-08 in Seattle at age 19. “I have played against different schemes and strategies. The coaches are working non-stop trying to find a new way to play the game, and I feel like I have to be on the same page. I have to grasp what is happening in the game as what I’d make a coach, and I think that’s my development. “
“I went from playing at a slower pace when I first came to the league to now playing at a fast pace, 3-point style,” he added. “So I think I’ve adjusted to that. Whatever happens next, I’ll be ready.”
At 33, Durant is ready and more at ease.
“I really feel like I’ve been growing every day and I’m starting to understand the game a little bit more,” Durant said. “I simplified it for myself. I try not to pursue anything other than being the best I can on the court.”
“I really try to approach each repetition as trying to be the best that I can be and everything else outside of that will work itself out, so the results, if I prepare in the right way, will handle themselves.”