Durant was born on September 29, 1988, in Washington, D.C., to Wanda (née Durant) and Wayne Pratt. When Durant was an infant, his father deserted the family; Wanda and Wayne eventually divorced, and Durant's grandmother Barbara Davis helped raise him. By age 13, his father reentered his life and traveled the country with him to basketball tournaments. Durant has a sister, Brianna, and two brothers, Tony and Rayvonne.
Kevin Wayne Durant (/dəˈrænt/ də-RANT; born September 29, 1988), also known by his initials KD, is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college basketball for the Texas Longhorns and was selected as the second overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2007 NBA draft. He played nine seasons with the franchise, which became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, before signing with the Golden State Warriors in 2016, winning consecutive NBA championships and NBA Finals MVP Awards in 2017 and 2018. After sustaining an Achilles injury in the 2019 finals, he joined the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent that summer. Following disagreements with the Nets' front office, he requested a trade during the 2022 offseason and was traded to the Suns in 2023. He is regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Durant and his siblings grew up in Prince George's County, Maryland, on the eastern outskirts of Washington, D.C. He was unusually tall from a young age, and reached 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) in height while still in middle school (age 10–12). Growing up, Durant wanted to play for his favorite team, the Toronto Raptors, which included his favorite player, Vince Carter. He played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for several teams in the Maryland area and was teammates with future NBA players Michael Beasley, Greivis Vásquez, and Ty Lawson, the first of whom Durant remains friends with to this day. During this time, he began wearing #35 as his jersey number in honor of his AAU coach, Charles Craig, who was murdered at the age of 35.
In February 2007, Durant received an invitation to the United States national team training camp. Despite a strong performance, he was cut from the team when its roster was trimmed to its twelve-player limit. Coach Mike Krzyzewski cited the experience of the remaining players as the deciding factor in making the cut. Durant was finally selected to the national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and became their leader as other All-Stars were unavailable, a role he downplayed. At the tournament, he led Team USA to its first FIBA World Championship since 1994, earning tournament MVP honors in the process. His final averages for the competition were 22.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in nine games. In December, Durant was named 2010 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year for the first time in his career.
Durant is best known for his prodigious scoring ability. From 2010 to 2014, he won four scoring titles, becoming one of only two players to win four scoring titles in a five-year span. Early in his career, his playing style was isolation-driven, but he quickly developed into an excellent off-ball player who was capable of scoring from the outside as well. By 2013, he was shooting at a historically great clip, which helped him become one of only nine members of the 50–40–90 club. This ability to impact the offense in a variety of ways helped Durant remain effective and improve an already elite offense upon joining the Warriors in 2016. Throughout his career, his height and 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) wingspan have created matchup problems for defenses as he is able to get off a clean shot regardless of the situation. Upon beating his man or gaining momentum, he also becomes a strong finisher at the rim; for example, he converted 72.2% of shots in the paint in 2012.
Durant was formerly represented by agents Aaron Goodwin and Rob Pelinka. He left Pelinka in 2013 and signed with the Roc Nation group, headed by Jay-Z. Durant has endorsement deals with Nike, Sprint, Gatorade, Panini, General Electric, and 2K Sports. In 2012, he tried his hand at acting, appearing in the children's film Thunderstruck. In 2013, he earned $35 million, making him the fourth-highest-earning basketball player that year. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Durant claimed that, despite his high earnings potential, "global marketing and all that stuff" does not interest him.
Off the court, Durant is one of the highest-earning basketball players in the world, due in part to endorsement deals with companies such as Foot Locker and Nike. He has developed a reputation for philanthropy and regularly leads the league in All-Star votes and jersey sales. In recent years, he has contributed to The Players' Tribune as both a photographer and writer. In 2012, he ventured into acting, appearing in the film Thunderstruck.
Durant is very close with his mother, Wanda, a relationship that was detailed in the Lifetime movie The Real MVP: The Wanda Pratt Story. During his time with the Thunder, Durant described himself as a "high school kid" who enjoys playing video games in his spare time. Durant is a Christian who attended Baptist schools. He has religious tattoos on his stomach, wrist, and back. He owns several properties in the Oklahoma City area and listed his primary residence, located in the affluent Club Villa neighborhood, for sale for $1.95 million in 2013. That same year, he opened a restaurant, KD's Southern Cuisine, in the Bricktown neighborhood and briefly became engaged to Monica Wright, a WNBA player. In 2016, he was a credentialed photographer for The Players' Tribune at Super Bowl 50.
One of the most popular players in the league, Durant's jersey regularly ranks as one of the NBA's best-selling and he is consistently one of the top All-Star vote-getters. Early in his career, he developed a reputation for his kind demeanor; in 2013, Foot Locker released a series of commercials calling him the "nicest guy in the NBA", and become a beloved figure in Oklahoma City, known for his "nice escapades" toward the Thunder's staff. In 2014, he partnered with KIND snacks and launched StrongAndKind.com to show "being kind is not a sign of weakness." Since joining the Warriors, he has become more outspoken and controversial; for example, he was involved in a Twitter back-and-forth with CJ McCollum in July 2018. Durant has admitted to feeling more genuine in Golden State as opposed to Oklahoma City, where he was "just trying to please everybody". He's very active on Twitter, often engaging in chippy comments with fans and members of the media.
Throughout his career, Durant has participated in philanthropic causes. In 2013, he pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross for the victims of the 2013 Moore tornado. His generosity inspired the Thunder and Nike to match his donation. He is also a spokesperson for the Washington, D. C. branch of P'Tones Records, a nationwide non-profit after-school music program.
Early in Durant's career, he was criticized for his slim build, defense, and passing. Over time, he grew as a playmaker, increasing his assist numbers every year from 2010 to 2014, though his overall vision still lagged behind the league's best passers'. He also showed defensive improvement, with opponents averaging just .62 points per isolation play against him in 2014, the best success rate for defensive players who faced at least 100 isolations that season. Upon going to Golden State, he developed into a more reliable off-ball defender and rim protector, and in 2018 was considered for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.
On February 19 of the lockout-shortened 2011–12 season, Durant recorded his first career 50-point game, scoring 51 points against the Denver Nuggets. At the All-Star Game, he scored 36 points and was awarded the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. Durant finished the year with a scoring average of 28 points per game, representing his third straight scoring title. Behind his play, the Thunder won 47 games and entered the 2012 NBA playoffs as the Western Conference's second seed. In game 1 of the first round against the Dallas Mavericks, Durant hit a game-winner with 1.5 seconds remaining. Oklahoma City would go on to defeat Dallas, the Lakers, and the San Antonio Spurs before losing to the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals. For the NBA Finals, Durant led all players with 30.6 points per game, doing so on a 54.8 shooting rate.
With a scoring average of 28.1 points per game to finish the 2012–13 season, Durant failed to defend his scoring title; however, with a 51 percent shooting rate, a 41.6 percent three point shooting rate, and a 90.5 free throw shooting rate, he became the youngest player in NBA history to join the 50–40–90 club. Finishing the year with a 60–22 record, Oklahoma City earned the first seed in the Western Conference. In the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs against the Houston Rockets, Westbrook tore his meniscus, forcing him to miss the remainder of the postseason. Without Westbrook, Durant was given more responsibility, averaging a career-high 30.8 points per game throughout the playoffs, but Oklahoma City were eventually eliminated in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies in five games.
Durant's height is officially 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) and his primary position is small forward. In December 2016, Durant stated that his height in shoes was actually 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) and that he understated his height in order to be listed as a small forward, rather than a power forward. His career averages are 27.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Durant has earned All-NBA honors ten times (2010–2014, 2016–2019, 2022) and was voted rookie of the year in his debut season. He has also won an MVP Award and finished second in the voting three times, a trend that he has expressed frustration over.
In 2017, Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman founded Thirty Five Ventures. In 2020, Thirty Five Ventures produced Basketball County, a documentary about youth basketball in Durant's home county of Prince George's County, Maryland. Durant served as an executive producer and appeared in interviews. Thirty Five Ventures' work Two Distant Strangers won the 2021 Academy Award for Short Film (Live Action).
In 2017, Durant became involved with YouTube. In February, he visited YouTube's headquarters for a speaking engagement. On April 7, 2017, he created a YouTube account and soon began to upload live stream vlogs onto it. In his first vlog, he detailed, "I'm so excited because I got off social media. I got off the Instagram, Twitter, all that stuff, just to distance myself a bit. But somebody talked me into getting on the YouTube." As of June 2020, Durant's YouTube channel has received over 790,000 subscribers and 38 million video views. On February 13, 2018, Deadline reported that Durant, in partnership with producer Brian Grazer's Imagine Television, will create a basketball-themed scripted drama for Apple.
On July 7, 2018, Durant re-signed with the Warriors, on a reported two-year, $61.5 million contract, which included a player option for the second year. During an overtime loss to the Clippers on November 12, 2018, Green cursed out Durant over his upcoming free agency status after the season, and he was suspended for the much-publicized blowup. On November 29, Durant scored a season-high 51 points in a 131–128 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors, thus scoring 40 or more in his third straight game. With Curry and Green sidelined for most of November, the Warriors finished the month with a 15–8 record and five straight road losses, after starting the season at 10–1.
During the 2009–10 season, Durant was selected to his first NBA All-Star Game. Behind his play, the Thunder improved their record by 27 wins from the previous year and defied expectations to make the playoffs. With a scoring average of 30.1 points per game, Durant became the youngest NBA scoring champion and was selected to his first All-NBA team. In his playoff debut, he scored 24 points in a Game 1 loss against the Los Angeles Lakers. Oklahoma City would go on to lose the series in six games, but the team's performance led many analysts to label them as an upcoming title contender.
On June 30, 2019, Durant announced that he planned to sign with the Brooklyn Nets after the July moratorium ended on July 6. On July 1, Golden State CEO Joe Lacob announced that Durant's No. 35 will no longer be issued by the Warriors. Durant signed with Brooklyn on July 7, in a sign-and-trade deal. Durant did not appear at all in the 2019–20 season and later revealed that he had decided shortly after his June 2019 injury that he would be sitting out the entire 2019–20 season. On March 17, 2020, Durant and three other Nets players tested positive for COVID-19. On April 1, it was announced that Durant was cleared and had recovered.
On June 15, 2020, Durant became a minority owner of MLS side Philadelphia Union, acquiring a 5% stake with the possibility to add another 5% in the near future.
On December 22, 2020, Durant made his Nets debut, putting up 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, in a 125–99 win over the Golden State Warriors. On January 14, 2021, James Harden was traded to the Nets in a blockbuster four-team deal, reuniting Durant with his former Thunder teammate. On January 16, 2021, Durant scored a season-high 42 points in a 122–115 win over the Orlando Magic. On February 5, due to health and safety protocols, Durant came off the bench for the first time in his career in a 117–123 loss to the Toronto Raptors. In February, Durant suffered a hamstring injury, which forced him to miss 23 games. On April 2, the NBA fined Durant $50,000 for private messages he sent through social media to actor Michael Rapaport in a feud. Durant made his return on April 7, 2021, scoring 17 points off the bench in a 139–119 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The Nets finished the season with a 48–24 record, and the second seed in the East.
Durant was a heavily recruited high school prospect who was widely regarded as the second-best player in his class. In college, he won numerous year-end awards and became the first freshman to be named Naismith College Player of the Year. As a professional, he has won two NBA championships, an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, two Finals MVP Awards, two NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Awards, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, been named to ten All-NBA teams (including six First Teams), and selected 13 times as an NBA All-Star. In 2021, Durant was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. As a member of the U.S. men's national team, Durant has won three gold medals in the Olympics (2012, 2016, and 2020) and is the leading scorer in Team USA's men's Olympic basketball history. He also won gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
In May 2021, Durant (through Thirty Five Ventures) was announced as an investor in Just Women's Sports, an American media platform dedicated to women's sports. Durant credited the platform with showing "fans exactly how good these players are and why they're worth watching."
In August 2021, Durant announced a partnership between his multimedia company Boardroom and the cannabis technology company Weedmaps through which an original content series would be developed and Weedmaps would become an official sponsor of Boardroom. Durant said of the partnership: "I think it's far past time to address the stigmas around cannabis that still exist in the sports world as well as globally. This partnership is going to help us continue to normalize those conversations, as well as create content, events, and a lot more through our Boardroom media network."
On August 8, 2021, Durant signed a four-year, $198 million extension with the Brooklyn Nets. On October 22, Durant recorded his thirteenth career triple-double, and first as a Net with 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists in a 114–109 comeback win over the Philadelphia 76ers. On November 10, Durant scored 30 points on 11-for-12 shooting in a 123–90 win over the Orlando Magic. On December 12, Durant scored a then season-high 51 points in a 116–104 win over the Detroit Pistons. On December 14, Durant recorded his fourteenth career triple-double with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in a 131–129 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors. On December 16, Durant scored 34 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out eight assists in a 114–105 win against the Philadelphia 76ers. On January 15, 2022, during a 120–105 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, Durant exited in the second quarter after suffering a left knee injury, later revealed to be a sprained MCL, and was subsequently ruled out for four to six weeks.
On December 22, 2021, he had signed a deal with Coinbase to serve as a brand ambassador.
On June 30, 2022, it was reported that Durant had requested a trade from the Nets. Durant's preferred trade destinations were the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat. The favorites to land Durant were the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, two teams which he had also been interested in. On August 24, 2022, Durant rescinded his trade request after meeting with Nets management. On October 24, Durant scored 37 points on 14-for-20 shooting from the field in a 134–124 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies and moved past Alex English into 20th place on the NBA all-time career scoring list. On October 31, Durant recorded 36 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists in a 116–109 win over the Indiana Pacers. He passed Vince Carter for 19th on the NBA all-time career scoring list. Durant scored at least 25 points in each of the first seven games of the season, the most in franchise history. On November 9, Durant posted a triple-double with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in an 112–85 win over New York Knicks. His rebounds and assists were both season highs. On November 17, Durant scored 35 points in a 109–107 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. He became just the 19th player all-time to reach 26,000 career points. Durant also tied Michael Jordan for the sixth most consecutive 25-point games to start a season with 16. On November 23, Durant passed Kevin Garnett for 18th place on the NBA all-time career scoring list in an 112–98 win over the Toronto Raptors. On November 29, Durant scored a season-high 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting from the field and added seven rebounds and five assists in 109–102 win over the Orlando Magic.
In October 2022, Durant joined fellow professional athletes LeBron James, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees as an investor in a professional pickleball team with his business partner, Rich Kleiman, via their Thirty Five Ventures (35V) firm.
On February 9, 2023, the Nets traded Durant, along with T. J. Warren, to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, four unprotected first-round picks, and a 2028 first-round pick swap. Although Durant wanted to continue wearing No. 7 as he did in Brooklyn, the number was retired by the Suns in honor of Kevin Johnson. As a result, Durant announced that he would return to wearing the No. 35 jersey, which he had worn throughout his college and professional career prior to joining the Nets.
On October 31, 2023, Durant put up 26 points in a 115–114 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. He passed Hakeem Olajuwon for 12th on the all-time career scoring list and became the 12th player all-time to reach 27,000 career points. On November 17, Durant recorded 38 points, nine rebounds and nine assists on 15-of-22 shooting from the field in a 131–128 win over the Utah Jazz. On November 21, Durant put up 31 points in a 120–107 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. He also passed Elvin Hayes for 11th place on the all-time career scoring list. On December 1, Durant put up 30 points and 11 assists in a 119–111 loss to the Denver Nuggets. He also passed Moses Malone for 10th place on the all-time career scoring list.