This is an article from the Oct. 7, 2013 issue
After a disappointing second-round exit from the playoffs, the 25-year-old Oklahoma City star spent his off-season working on his game, getting engaged to WNBA player Monica Wright and visiting such exotic locales as Milan and Green Bay.
DAN PATRICK:You did a lot of traveling this off-season. What was your favorite place?
KEVIN DURANT: A tie between Barcelona and Milan. I had such a great time in both cities.
DP:Were you recognized on the streets?
KD: Surprisingly, I was. Those are big soccer communities.
DP:How did you like seeing your Redskins at Lambeau Field in Week 2?
KD: That blew me away, even though we got clobbered.
DP:What impressed you?
KD: The history and tradition. You can feel it when you come into the stadium. I was riding through a town that was like a community. I made a right on one street, and there's the stadium. It was the coolest thing. It reminded me a lot of Oklahoma City. I was like a little kid.
DP:What position would you play in the NFL?
KD: I couldn't play wide receiver because those guys get hit too hard. I think quarterback would be the best position for me. But Calvin Johnson is my favorite athlete in any sport. His demeanor, how he carries himself. He's a joy to watch.
DP:Do you distance yourself from basketball in the off-season?
KD: I play everywhere. I just don't post it on Instagram.
DP:What was your reaction when Dwight Howard went to Houston?
KD: I'm sorry if this sounds disrespectful, but I didn't really care. I love Dwight and their team. I love James Harden. But I don't care about them or anyone else. It's just all about what we have to do every single night.
DP:Do you feel the pressure to win a title?
KD: I don't, because I don't care about outside people or the media. I enjoy playing the game of basketball because I love it. Of course I would love to win a title, but expectations come from everybody else.
DP:Who do you study in the off-season to get better?
KD: I steal a lot from Dirk [Nowitzki]. He's not the most athletic guy, but he uses his body and strength to his advantage.
DP:Did you see the NBA is considering letting the Heat and the Nets wear their nicknames on the backs of their jerseys?
KD: That's cool. I wish they'd let the Thunder do that. Hopefully they'll bring that to every NBA team.
DP:What would you wear on yours?
KD: I would just put KD or Sniper Jones, my alter ego.
DP:Do you like Durant-ula?
KD: Nah, that's what everyone else wanted to call me. I wouldn't put that on the back of my jersey.
Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott, one of hardest hitters ever, believes that the new limits on contact shouldn't be an obstacle to defenders. "Great players, no matter what, find a way to adapt," Lott told me, "and they're never lazy about the fact that the rules change." ... Archie Manning described the reaction of his younger sons to the documentary on his family, The Book of Manning. "They both watched it about a month before [it aired]," Manning said. "This is pretty typical. Eli said, 'Yeah, it's good.' Peyton said there are about seven things in there we need to change." ... Texas coach Mack Brown talked about the challenges of a down year: "You become wins. If you don't get those, you kill yourself within. I once heard Woody Hayes say that only 1% of coaches retire. I was sitting on the front row, and it was like he was staring at me."