Kevin Durant says top prospects should skip draft combine
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant says the top NBA draft prospects should skip the annual combine and encouraged players to get better on their own time.
Durant's combine experience was less than positive for him after reports came out that he could lift his body weight.
"If you're a top-10 pick or a first-round pick or whatever and you know you might be guaranteed, stay your ass home, work out and get better on your own time," Durant says to prospects, via ESPN.
Durant arrived at the 2007 NBA draft combine at 19 years old after spending one season at Texas, and weighing around 185 pounds on a 6'11" frame.
"I remember it like it was yesterday," Durant said, as he readjusted his body to get comfortable in his seat," Durant said. "All the strength coaches were laughing at me and s---. They were giggling with each other that I couldn't lift 185 pounds, and I was like, 'All right, keep laughing. Keep laughing.' It was a funny thing, because I was the only one that couldn't lift it and I was struggling to lift it. I was embarrassed at that point, but I'm like, 'Give me a basketball, please. Give me a ball.'
Durant was still taken second overall by the Seattle Supersonics in the 2007 NBA draft. The Portland Trail Blazers took center Greg Oden with the first pick.
Durant has since made eight All-Star Game appearances, was voted the league's Most Valuable Player in 2014 and has led the league in scoring four times.
More than 60 players were invited to next week's combine, but some of potential lottery picks such as Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, Dennis Smith Jr., Malik Monk, Lauri Markkanen and Jonathan Isaac will reportedly not attend.
"Now [players aren't attending], but back then, every player was there," Durant said. "The first to the last pick was there. It was just a part of the process. But now, you're getting players to where they realize their power and they're not doing it, and more power to them ... They want to just work out. They don't want to deal with that B.S., and I understand that. But back then, I wish I would have known the power I had or I probably wouldn't have done it, either."
The NBA draft is set for June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with the draft lottery taking place on Tuesday.
- Scooby Axson