The Oklahoma City forward has carried the Thunder to the best record in the Western Conference (29--8 through Sunday) and was named NBA Player of the Month for February.
DAN PATRICK:What's in the backpack you wear to the arena before every game?
March 12, 2012
KEVIN DURANT: A computer. A phone charger. And a Bible.
KD: No snacks. Can't eat those before the game.
DP:Fifty years ago, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points. If you had the green light, could you get to 100?
KD: I do have the green light, but I doubt I could get past 50.
DP:Kobe got to 81.
KD: That was just sick. I don't think I could reach that.
DP:If you wanted to score 100, who would you want guarding you?
KD: Earl Boykins.
DP:Someone about 5'5"?
KD: Yeah, so I can shoot over the top.
DP:Defenses around the NBA are going to adjust to the Knicks' Jeremy Lin now that they've seen him. Did that happen with you?
KD: Teams started to figure me out about halfway through my rookie season, and I was struggling a lot. You try to make adjustments. In Jeremy Lin's case, it's different because he's a point guard. [The Knicks] run a lot of pick-and-rolls. You can't trap pick-and-rolls when you got guys like Carmelo [Anthony] and Amar'e [Stoudemire] and shooters like Iman Shumpert and Landry Fields.
DP:Do you like it that people don't talk much about the Thunder's success this season?
KD: I do like it. A lot of people still have us under the radar. That's the way it should be. We've got a lot of growing to do. We can be a lot better.
DP:What do you think of the one-and-done rule in college basketball?
KD: I did it. In my case going to Texas, far away from Maryland, where I grew up, helped me grow as a man. I think it's a great rule.
DP:What if they made players stay in college for two years?
KD: They should keep it at one year. Kids might not go to school. They might go overseas.
DP:Would you have come right out of high school if it had been allowed?
KD: I don't think I could have. I would have gone to college anyway.
DP:Who are the guys you don't want to see coming down the lane with the ball when you're back there alone on defense?
KD: Blake Griffin. LeBron [James]. Russell Westbrook. Those guys are just athletic freaks.
DP:In that situation, do you challenge them or get out of the way?
KD: I would rather challenge. If you get dunked on, you get dunked on.
DP:What about Kendrick Perkins after he made the highlights for being dunked on by Blake Griffin?
KD: Ten times out of 10 times he'd do it again.
DP:Did anyone on your team joke with Perkins after that dunk?
KD: No, that's our teammate. Especially since we lost the game. We don't get excited about other teams' plays.
DP:Where is the All-Star Game MVP trophy that you won?
KD: My mom has it. I think it's in her room.
DP:Do you have enough room for an NBA championship trophy?
KD: I don't have a lot of space, but I'll find some if we make it that far.
"Everyone thinks this is my rule. I can't stand the rule. It's a bad rule. One year is not what these kids should be about. People have to understand, Billy Hunter and the [NBA] Players Association own the rule. They're the only ones who can change that. Not the NCAA. Not the NBA."
—John Calipari, Kentucky basketball coach, on the NBA's 19-year-old age minimum and the one-and-done trend
I asked North Carolina coach Roy Williams if he ever runs into Duke coach Mike Kryzewski along Tobacco Road. "You mean run into him like see him or run into him with my car?" Williams said. "For some reason I had that vision." ... Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 at night and would like to see more races after dark. "It always looks faster," Kenseth told me. "You get to see the sparks fly, and the racing seems more exciting." ... Former Giant David Tyree made one of the most famous catches in Super Bowl history, but Plaxico Burress has the football because he pulled down the game-winning TD. "It's the same ball he caught because it was a two-minute drive," Burress said. "Tyree said it should change houses every year." ... Bill Campbell did play-by-play for WCAU radio the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in 1962 and is surprised at the fanfare 50 years later. "It wasn't that big a deal [at the time]," Campbell told me. "There's more fuss being made about this anniversary than there was the day after he did it."