Golden State Warriors insider and bestselling author Marcus Thompson “paints a complex portrait and captures all the multitudes of a dynamic athlete trying to carve his legacy” (Jonathan Abrams, New York Times bestselling author) with this definitive biography of one of the most extraordinary basketball players in NBA history—Kevin Durant.
The NBA has never seen a player quite like Kevin Durant. Larry Bird wasn’t as quick, Magic Johnson didn’t have such a range, and Michael Jordan wasn’t seven feet tall. Durant handles the ball like Allen Iverson, shoots like Dirk Nowitzki, and has the scoring instincts of Kobe Bryant. He does it in a body that’s about as big as Hakeem Olajuwon. But ultimately, Kevin Durant is like no one but himself.
After an incredible first season with Golden State, Kevin Durant earned the coveted NBA Finals MVP award: he was the Warriors’ top scorer in every game of the 2017 Finals, helping the team snatch the title from LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
As a sports columnist for The Athletic Bay Area, and longtime beat reporter covering the Golden State Warriors, Marcus Thompson is perfectly positioned to trace Durant’s inspirational journey. KD follows Durant’s underdog story from his childhood spent in poverty outside DC; to his rise playing on AAU teams with future NBA players; to becoming a star and hometown hero for the Oklahoma Thunder; to his controversial decision to play for the NBA rival Golden State Warriors; to his growth from prodigy into a man, in the first true inside account of this superstar player.
With his “gift for insight into people, in a way that might be sui generis among writers” (Ethan Strauss, The Athletic), Thompson has written a powerful, moving biography of a modern-day legend that is also an essential read for all sports fans—or anyone who wants to know: what’s it like to shoot for greatness?
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About the Author
Marcus Thompson II is a lead columnist at The Athletic, covering the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco 49ers and Giants, and the Oakland Raiders and A’s. He was previously a sportswriter at the San Jose Mercury News and covered the Warriors exclusively as a beat writer for ten seasons. He lives with his wife, Dawn, and daughter, Sharon, in Oakland, California. He is the author of the national bestseller Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry and KD: Kevin Durant’s Relentless Pursuit to Be the Greatest.
Table of Contents
1 The Early Years 1
2 DMV Hoop 17
3 Becoming a Phenom 39
4 Hook'em Horns 59
5 Thunder Up 75
6 Ok-See Ya 125
7 The Hamptons 141
8 Kevin Wayne 155
9 The Villain 179
10 The Next Chapter 209
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very few athletes who are stars in their sport, no matter which one, escape some type of controversy in their careers. Kevin Durant is no exception as his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 to join the Golden State Warriors set off a furious reaction not seen since LeBron James left Cleveland to sign with the Miami Heat in 2010. The story behind Durant’s decision, as well as a look into his complicated world, is told in this excellent unauthorized biography by Marcus Thompson. Having already penned one best-selling book about a Golden State star, Stephan Curry, Thompson writes about Durant’s ascent to stardom from Prince George County in the Washington DC metro area, or DMV for DC/Maryland/Virgina as the region is called throughout the book, where he was not only competing but thriving in games against boys older than him. The book then follows Durant to the University of Texas for his one spectacular season for the Longhorns which vaulted him to being the #2 pick in the NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He had a fine rookie season, being named the Rookie of the Year and followed the team when it moved to Oklahoma City. This time in Durant’s career was my only negative takeaway from the book – there was far too little written about Durant’s time in Seattle almost like it never happened. That is ironic because later when the Warriors and Sacramento Kings played an exhibition game in Seattle, Durant was the recipient of much love from the Seattle fans. While the reader will learn about Durant’s rise to superstar status while he was on Oklahoma City, what the reader learns about Durant’s personality and the conflict between Durant’s inner feelings and the public off-court persona he portrayed makes for some of the best reading in the book and why it is a compelling read. In public, Durant never showed any tattoos for a long time, but he had a lot of ink with significant personal meaning on areas of his body where they would be hidden by clothing in public appearances. Through interviews with other players and research, Thompson achieves something difficult to do – providing the reader with an insightful look into an athlete who is still in the prime of his or her career without interviewing the subject. Of course, it has to be taken that this is the viewpoint of Thompson, but it still comes across as a very interesting topic. Thompson also discusses at length the most controversial part of Durant’s career – his decision to leave the Thunder two years after declaring he would never go elsewhere and sign with the Warriors, who were already a championship team. There are many reasons that have been discussed in the media before, and Thompson addresses every one of them. Much like Durant’s versatility in his game – a seven footer who has a great shooting touch and an explosive first step – Thompson writes about this controversy with much skill as the reader will finish this part of the book with an understanding of what Durant did. That doesn’t mean those who were angry with this move will accept it – they will just become more informed. A great look inside the career of one of the best in the game today as well as a compelling read, fans of today’s NBA will want to add this one to their libraries. I wish to thank Atria Books for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.