1 on 1 with Kevin Durant

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Kevin Durant is rapidly becoming one of the young superstars in the NBA. Although the Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of the lower ranking teams for the past two years, Durant continues to be a dominant force on the court.?Along with a love for basketball, he has also shown a love for sneakers since childhood. This past season, Nike blessed Durant with his first signature sneaker ever in the form of the Nike KD1. Despite requesting that Nike create a low-budget sneaker for the most to afford, the Nike KD1 was easily one of the more well-received basketball sneakers on the market.

Last week we caught up with Kevin Durant at the Gatorade Player of the Year Awards honoring the best high school athletes. ?In this interview, Kevin Durant discusses who inspired him on the on and off court, what he thinks about the controversial “1 year”, and of course a number of sneaker questions you would ask him as well.

Click here to view this in-depth interview in its entirety.

Matt Halfhill – Nice Kicks: At what age did you decide that you wanted to play in the NBA?

Kevin Durant: Since I was eight years old. I sat my mom down and had an eye to eye talk with her that I wanted to play basketball for a living and I wanted to be great. She pushed me from there. She didn’t give me any breaks, no time off, she made sure that I had the right people around me to help me succeed.

Nice Kicks: Besides your mom, who else pushed you to succeed at basketball?

Kevin Durant: My godfather taught me the game, my brother who was always there for me, and my grandmother who even though she didn’t know much about the game she made sure that I worked hard at everything that I did and my father as well. That was my circle that pushed me to be the best I could be.

Nice Kicks: In the NBA, who inspired you to be your best?

Kevin Durant: Vince Carter was that guy who I always looked up to. He always played with that fire and that passion and that’s what I wanted to do. He’s a great player to live up to. He has had a phenomenal career so far and he is with a new team now so its a new beginning for him again. That’s the guy I always wanted to be like. You know, I can’t jump as high as him, but I can play with that passion.

Nice Kicks: I know that right when you entered the NBA you had offers from Nike and Adidas, what was the ultimate deciding factor for you for which team to join?

Kevin Durant: You know, it was just which company was I most comfortable with. You know, I wore Nike shoes my whole basketball career. I felt most comfortable with them and I think that their shoes greatly benefit me on the court. I’m glad that I’m with Nike – it’s a great family to be apart of.

“I’m glad that I’m with Nike – it’s a great family to be apart of.”

Nice Kicks: Thinking back to your younger days, was there a favorite pair of Nike shoes that you played in?

Kevin Durant: I had the old Tim Duncans, the ones with the strap like web that went across them and I had the all grey Total Max Foamposites too. I would really like to see Nike come back out with those.

Nice Kicks: When you signed with Nike, one of the first things that I heard was that you wanted your line of shoes to be affordable. How important was this to you?

Kevin Durant: This was very important to me. When I first started playing, I had to play in Shaquille O’Neal’s because my mom couldn’t afford the $100 shoes for me and my brother so I had to play in K-Mart shoes. It would have been great to play in some affordable and comfortable Nike’s, but you know it wasn’t like that back then. Now I just want to make it easier for kids coming up that like my shoes to be able to afford them. Nike did a great job helping me out with that goal of making something great that was also affordable.

Nice Kicks: Even though the Nike KD1 is one of the cheaper shoes in the Nike lineup, it still performed incredibly well. What were some benchmark standards that you want in your shoes?

Kevin Durant: I want them to be something similar in weight to the Huarache 2k4. Those were light and for guys like me who needed to be quick and guys who needed to move down the floor quicker like the guards or the power forwards, the Rashard Lewis’ or the KG’s in the game. It was very light and cushioning was on point and of course the colorway was perfect for our team. It was a great shoe.

Kevin Durant wearing the Nike KD1

Nice Kicks: What was you favorite thing about the Nike KD1?

Kevin Durant: You know, I really like that the sole had everything that I did growing up on it. Where I came from, my parents, my brother, everything that I went through to get to this point was on that shoe. It was definitely something that will stick with me forever.

Nice Kicks: We caught up with your former teammate DJ Augustin and he told us we needed to ask you about the Nike KD2.

Kevin Durant: Yeah, I have been playing in those for the past couple of months at Texas to get used to them. He said he liked them and he isn’t a really big shoe guy so that says something.

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