Kevin Durant is one of the most dominant players in the NBA, but there was a time when the superstar had to be told to shoot the ball.
The Golden State Warriors star forward played his middle school basketball at Drew Freeman Middle School in Prince George’s County, Md., and one of his teammates was San Francisco 49ers star linebacker, NaVorro Bowman. And according to Bowman, he had to encourage Durant to stop passing the ball and use his lethal jump shot.
“Yeah, we had to tell him to shoot,” Bowman told The Associated Press, via FanRag Sports. “We knew that he could play the game and he would eventually get better, but how tall he was, back in the day if you were that tall you would be in the post or you would be in the paint. This guy was on the wing. You could see the talent there. Eventually, as you see now, he grew into it and became a great player.”
Durant, however, claims he was just trying to be unselfish and make his teammates better.
“I would just always want to please my teammates so I would pass up a shot to get somebody else a look,” Durant said. “I always had that trait and that kind of turned into not being aggressive, if that’s what it was called. But I was more so just catering to my teammates, trying to make them feel comfortable.
We’d say Durant took Bowman’s advice to heart, as he has led the league in scoring four times since being drafted, and was named NBA MVP following the 2013-14 season.
Durant returns to the NBA Finals on Thursday night when the Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 at Oracle Arena.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images