Last season, Kevin Durant dealt with expectations coming off losing the Finals, being without James Harden for the first time, and got a glimpse of what playoff life is like without star help when Russell Westbrook went down. He had a phenomenal season, scoring the most points overall in the NBA while shooting over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the arc, and 90 percent from the line. It was a tremendous season, but one that seemed harder on him personally. In an interview with the Oklahoman, Durant talked about last season, and admitted that he became "obsessed" with winning. “Last year, I was obsessed with it,” Durant said of winning a title. “Like, I wasn't going to sleep because I wanted to win so bad. I was screaming at my teammates, at the refs, at the coaches. I got mad because I thought ‘if we have a bad game here, we're not going to win a championship.'” That edge, Durant said, is part of the reason he was uncharacteristically whistled for 12 technical fouls last season — matching his combined total from his five previous seasons. “So I'm not going to let that overtake my mind,” said Durant of his championship chase. “I mean, of course I want to win it, but I'm not obsessed with it. I'm going to put in the work to help my team, but I'm not going to be obsessed with it because that's when I compromise myself, and most of the time it doesn't work out.” “Maybe it's not (a bad thing),” Durant said of the obsession. “But for me, it was just, like, I wasn't enjoying it no more. It was more like a job more than just going out there having fun playing the game. I never want to lose the love. Once you lose love of something and you make it into a job then …” “Like, for me, when I was coming in I was like “If I miss a shot, I'm going to miss this shot in Game 6 of the Finals,'” he said. “‘If we don't play defense this game, we're not going to play defense in the Finals.' Like, I was thinking like that. And I was going home and I would get so mad over small stuff. That's not me. So I was losing myself over what people thought, what other people thought.” via Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant taking new approach after spending last year obsessed with winning a title | News OK. That approach that Durant describes is exactly what made Michael Jordan great, it's what makes Kobe Bryant great. So we tend to want to ascribe it as the model for Durant. But Durant is neither of those players. He's his own man, with his own approach to the game, and he's always been team first. He honestly has a point guard's soul in a small forward's body.
Kevin Durant says he was too obsessed with winning last year
CBS Sports | Oct 29