Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder has been criticized for his slim frame since he was drafted second overall by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007. It’s incredible how many articles were written that focused on how weak and skinny Durant was coming out of college. Analyst and coaches alike figured that he was way too thin to really be a major factor in the league. Durant silenced those same doubters a long time ago. Through that silence, it appears that Durant himself also thought that he was a little too thin.
Durant’s updated player profile on www.nba.com lists his weight at 240 pounds. When the 6-foot-9 forward entered the league, it was said that he didn’t weigh more than 200 pounds soaking wet. Personally, I never put too much thought into his weight, or lack there of. His abilities are not centered around his body mass. Durant doesn’t need to be in the trenches throwing his weight around for rebounds. When he is active around the glass, his long reach becomes incredibly useful when going for rebounds.
I don’t doubt that his added weight will be a positive mark on his game, but I don’t think it’ll be the key to him grabbing his first MVP Award, or NBA Championship. Although, Durant should now have more confidence when he’s backing down larger forwards. The added weight should also complement his newly added Dirk-style, one-footed fade away jumper. I wouldn’t be surprised if Scott Brooks has drawn up more plays that have Durant playing in the low box. The deeper he is in the paint, the more dangerous the shooters on the team become. Thabo Sefolosha, Derek Fisher and Serge Ibaka will be more than happy to see Durant doing more inside the key.
Now up to 240 pounds, Durant should be more effective on defense, which is one area of his game in which he could use some improvement. His 7-foot-4 wingspan quickly became key in locking down opposing players. Durant has a little more weight to throw around, and this will allow him to play a little closer to the ball. It won’t be as easy for LeBron James to back him down, or drive to the lane when Durant is defending him. For now, all we can do is wonder if his new frame will expand Durant’s all-around game, but it won’t be too long before we have our answer. Their season opener is Oct. 30, 2013 when Thunder go on the road to faceoff against the Utah Jazz.