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Kevin Durant has maintained his humility despite his success

June 07, 2012|By Melissa Rohlin

Before Kevin Durant was running circles around his opponents, he was just trying to keep the Oklahoma City Thunder afloat.

Three years ago, his team skidded to a 3-29 start.

With the help of Russell Westbrook and James Harden, Durant transformed the Thunder into a franchise that's considered to be the NBA's future, a shooting star among the aging Spurs, Celtics and Lakers.

The Thunder won the Western Conference finals and are now only four wins away from the NBA championship.

Despite Durant's ascension, he has remained humble.

He is one of the few superstars in the league who speaks to reporters before games. Most of the league's other stars avoid the media until after the game.

In fact, he doesn't even consider himself to be a superstar.

Over the summer, in a video interview with The Times featured above, he spoke deferentially about Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, calling them 1A and 1B in the league, respectively. When asked where he rates, he said, "Nowhere near those guys. "I'm just trying to work to get there."

Then on Halloween, he tweeted that he wanted to play in a flag football game. An Oklahoma State student named George Overbey responded, not thinking that Durant would actually show up.

To Overbey's great surprise, Durant drove over to his home to pick him up and played in the game.

"He's just the nicest guy ever," Overbey said. "I don't know what to say. I mean when ... is a LeBron or a Kobe or the best player in the world going to come up here and hang out with Stillwater kids. I mean, says a lot about Oklahoma City, says a lot about Kevin Durant."

Durant won the scoring title this season while averaging 28 points, eight rebounds and 3.5 assists.

But his personality may be what truly separates him from the other superstars in the league.

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