Kevin Durant Hosts a Holiday Celebration for Citizens Caring for Children

Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant hosts a holiday celebration for 120 foster children from Citizens Caring for Children. The boys and girls will enjoy an afternoon filled of surprises including a pizza party provided by Pizza Hut, games, shooting hoops and face painting. Each child will receive a Nike backpack loaded with KD’s favorite things: an iPod shuffle, iTunes gift card, Skullcandy headphones and Nike gear. Kevin will also present Citizens Caring for Children with a new flat screen television, an Xbox 360 console, a Nintendo Wii system and games for the facility’s “BEAR Cave” activity room.

WHEN: Saturday, December 18, 3:00-5:00pm

WHERE: All Souls Episcopal Church
Christian Family Life Center Gymnasium
6404 North Pennsylvania Avenue
Nichols Hills, OK. 73116
405-842-1461
(The gym is located north of the church)

MEDIA: The event is closed to the public, but open for media coverage. Please note due to DHS policy and for the protection of the children, only side and back view photographs are permitted.

Citizens Caring for Children: Breaks the cycle of abuse and neglect for Oklahoma foster children by addressing their material, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs because every child deserves the chance for a better life. Citizens Caring for Children provides programs to promote self-worth, self-esteem and develop character to give hope, change lives and create healthy futures.

Kevin Durant 2nd in Western Conference in First NBA All-Star Ballot Returns

NEW YORK — Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder top the Western Conference, while Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and LeBron James of the Miami Heat lead the Eastern Conference after the first returns of 2011 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile. Bryant, The Finals MVP last season, is the overall leader with 722,682 votes.

The 2011 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, will be played at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles — on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011.
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In the Western Conference, Bryant, a three-time All-Star MVP, who garnered the honor in 2002, 2007 and 2009, is followed at guard by the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul (386,649). Kevin Durant, a member of last year’s All-NBA First Team, paces forwards in the West (470,881), with the Lakers’ Pau Gasol (390,808) second. The Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming (430,984) is the leading vote-getter among Western Conference centers, with the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum (198,044) following.

Howard, the leading vote-getter in the Eastern Conference with 611,561 votes paces centers in the East, followed by the Boston Celtics’ Shaquille O’Neal (241,782). James, a two-time All-Star MVP (2006, 2008), leads all Eastern Conference forwards with 607,994 votes, followed by the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett (456,111), MVP of the 2003 All-Star Game. The Heat’s Dwyane Wade, last year’s All-Star Game MVP, paces guards in the East with 570,489 votes; the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo is second (497,141).

2011 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by T-Mobile, with associate partner 2K Sports, allows fans around the world to vote daily for their favorite players as starters for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. Paper balloting will continue through Jan. 17, while wireless balloting and voting on NBA.com will conclude Jan. 23. There are several ways fans can cast their votes, including: at each NBA arena; in 20 languages on NBA.com; and through mobile phones by texting the player’s last name to 6-9-6-2-2 (“MYNBA”) or by visiting m.nba.com on any wireless carrier.

For SMS voting, fans can vote for All-Stars any time by texting a player’s last name from their mobile phones on any wireless carrier. Fans can cast one SMS vote per day, per phone number. Message and data rates may apply. T-Mobile customers will receive an exclusive 15 percent discount code to NBAStore.com for voting via SMS voting. Upon voting, T-Mobile customers will get a bounceback message with a discount code for them to use on NBAStore.com.

Fans can vote directly on NBA.com or use their Facebook profile information to help create an NBA.com All-Access account, which enables them to complete a ballot. After submitting their All-Star selections, fans will have the ability to share them with their friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter, and encourage others to cast their ballots.

Updated results for the Eastern and Western Conferences will be issued regularly leading up to the announcement of the All-Star starters. Starters will be announced live on TNT on Jan. 27, during a special one-hour pregame show at 7 P.M. ET featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, prior to TNT’s exclusive doubleheader Following the completion of fan voting and the starting line-up announcement, the head coaches in each conference will vote to determine the remaining All-Stars in their respective conference, which will be announced Thursday, Feb 3, prior to a TNT doubleheader.

The NBA All-Star ballot lists 120 players — 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences — with 24 guards, 24 forwards, and 12 centers from each conference comprising the list. Voters select two guards, two forwards and one center from each conference. The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA: J.A. Adande (ESPN.com), Marv Albert (TNT), Art Garcia (NBA.com) Marc Spears (Yahoo! Sports), Doug Smith (The Toronto Star) and Ian Thomsen (Sports Illustrated).

Kevin Durant Named 2010 Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Magazine

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (December 16, 2010) – At 10 a.m. today, Oklahoma Today magazine announced on Twitter the 2010 Oklahoman of the Year: Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant is featured in the January/February 2011 issue of the magazine.

“I can’t put into words how cool it is to be here,” said Durant. “I’m happy I’m here. God has put me in a great place because it’s the perfect place for me.”

In 2010, Durant, who signed a five-year contract extension with the Thunder over the summer, became the youngest-ever NBA scoring champion with 30.1 points per game. He led Team USA to a gold medal at the FIBA World Championships and yesterday was named 2010 Male Athlete of the Year by USA Basketball. He also was runner-up to LeBron James for the NBA’s MVP award. The Thunder is midway into its third season.

“KD is an amazing athlete who really knows how to play the game,” said LeBron James. “Besides being an unbelievable talent, he’s a great guy who understands what it means to be a role model. Oklahoma City is lucky to have KD.”

Durant was a Twitter sensation earlier this year when he announced his contract extension via the social media site; he was also a trending worldwide Twitter topic—one of the ten most-tweeted topics in the world—during the early rounds of the FIBA tournament.

Clayton I. Bennett, chairman of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball ownership group, was the 2008 Oklahoman of the Year. Durant is the nineteenth honoree. Past recipients have included Garth Brooks (1992), the Oklahoma City Fire Department (1995), David Boren (1998), and Dr. Ramona Paul (2009). The complete list is on the magazine’s website homepage.

“That’s an unbelievable honor,” Durant said. “So many great people have lived in the state of Oklahoma. A lot of great people have come through here. Then they pick me, only being here for a couple of years; I’m very honored and blessed and also humbled. It’s a great award to receive. Playing this game of basketball, you’re going to receive a lot of trophies and awards—to have Oklahoman of the Year kind of stands out to me. It’s a lot more than just a basketball award. It shows that I’ve come a long way as a person, as a player.”

The article was written by Oklahoma Today senior editor Steffie Corcoran. Portraits of Durant by photographer John Jernigan appear in the issue.

The issue will arrive to subscribers beginning December 18 and will appear on newsstands at the beginning of January. The article can be found in its entirety in PDF format on the magazine’s website and Facebook page. Oklahoma Today’s Twitter feed is @oklahomatoday.

For more information, contact the magazine’s editor, Louisa McCune-Elmore , at (405) 230-8450 or mccune@oklahomatoday.com or on Twitter at @louisamqn.

Kevin Durant Named 2010 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year

Durant shot a sizzling 55.6 percent from the field, 44.6 percent from 3-point and 91.2 percent from the free throw line during the 2010 World Championship. (Garrett Ellwood/ NBAE/Getty Images)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Dec. 15, 2010) – After helping the USA earn a 9-0 record and the gold medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and taking home tournament MVP honors in the process, Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) today was announced as the 2010 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.

“It means a lot,” Durant said. “My goal was to represent my country to the best of my ability. I really appreciate all of the coaches and players that I got to share that experience with. I am very humbled by this honor.”

Durant averaged a team-best and U.S. World Championship scoring record 22.8 points per game to help lead the USA to the FIBA World Championship gold medal Aug. 28 – Sept. 12 in Istanbul, Turkey. Named MVP of the tournament, he also was a member of the five-person All-World Championship Team.

“Kevin brought maturity and a winning mindset to every practice and every game last summer,” said Mike Krzyzewski, USA Men’s National Team and Duke University head coach. “He was a critical part of our success, and his teammates wanted him to have the ball in critical situations. They knew he’d deliver, and he did repeatedly. Despite his level of accomplishment at such a young age, Kevin wants to be a better player at both ends of the court. He’s motivated, and there’s no ceiling on his game. He’s a very special player and deserving of any honors he receives.”

Durant will be submitted for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s 2010 SportsMan of the Year Award, which is expected to be announced in January. The selection was made by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

“Kevin’s performance during the FIBA World Championship was incredible,” said Jim Tooley, USA Basketball Executive Director/CEO. “He set several U.S. World Championship records, and was an integral part of our young team. USA Basketball is proud of Kevin and the entire team’s effort.”

Starting in all nine games played, Durant also contributed 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game in a team-high 28.2 minutes per game. He shot a sizzling 55.6 percent from the field (74-133 FGs), 44.6 percent from 3-point (26-57 3pt FGs) and 91.2 percent from the free throw line (31-34 FTs).

Send in Pictures with Your KD III’s

KD’s third signature shoe, the Nike Zoom KD III, has been out for a couple of weeks now. Fans have already started sending in photos with their new KD III’s. We’ve been featuring the fan photos in the KD III sightings section of this site and on KD’s facebook page. If you have a pair of KD III’s and would like to be featured with them on KD’s website and facebook, email your pics to kd35sightings[at]gmail.com. If you don’t have a pair of KD III’s yet you can pick them up HERE.

Kevin Durant to Host OKC Family’s Grocery Shopping Trip

Kevin Durant will shop with the family of Leticia Gomez, Benjamin Perez and their three children, on Saturday for groceries at Homeland. The shopping trip is the second of four provided by Homeland this season. The family will receive $500 worth of groceries this trip and a gift card for $500 to use at a later time. The family was selected by the Presbyterian Urban Mission.

Keeping up with KD: A Look at Kevin Durant’s Start this Season

Keeping track of Kevin Durant isn’t what it used to be a season ago.

Last year, the Thunder forward was lighting up the league from every spot on the perimeter, draining long balls, pull-ups and swishing baskets off curls en route to an unforgettable season in which he became the youngest scoring champion in NBA history.

Durant became synonymous with scoring.

This year has been slightly different.

Durant has still lit up scoreboards with a league-leading 27.4 points per game. But the fourth-year forward, coming off a memorable summer, has done a much better job of stuffing the stat sheet altogether.

Now those big buckets have been accompanied on a regular basis with about a half dozen boards, a couple of dimes, at least a steal a game and several other plays that never make the box score. Through the first month of the 2010-11 regular season, KD has shown that he’s learning how to impact the game in a myriad of ways.

Take the Thunder’s Nov. 29 win over the New Orleans Hornets, for example.

The game came down to the wire. Down by four points with a little over five minutes to go, the Thunder needed defensive stops. So head coach Scott Brooks put KD on the Hornets’ biggest inside threat in David West, a former All-Star who knows how to bulldoze his way into the paint for points.

All KD did was hold his own against West, using his length to challenge shots and his toughness to keep West from getting to the rim. Durant single-handedly made three straight defensive stops — he challenged a shot, blocked another and then rejected an Emeka Okafor shot — that sparked the Thunder to a 95-89 victory.

After the game, Brooks reiterated how all along he had confidence in Durant to make defensive plays down the stretch, and even reminded the local media how Durant had been the team’s best defender throughout the previous week.

Those defensive stops complimented Durant’s 26-point, 11-rebound effort.

“I was just trying to play my hardest and prevent him from getting easy scores,” Durant said after the game. “I think I did a decent job. My teammates helped me out a lot. I was just trying to play as hard as I can. My shot wasn’t going so I decided to keep playing hard on both ends and see if I would start to come around.”

That’s just one example of how Durant has shown how he can affect a game outside of his natural scoring ability. It’s part of the evolution of Durant, who himself would admit that he’s the furthest thing from a finished product.

The All-Star nod, the gold medal at the World Championship, the constant praise by the media for being the next big thing — Durant acknowledges it and continues to push forward with his development. You all know by now that he’s never satisfied.

It hasn’t been a completely smooth ride for Durant this season. Minor ankle and knee injuries have held him out of four games so far, but even when he’s not in uniform he’s still being the consummate teammate, applauding and dishing advice at any chance possible.

For the 18 games he has been healthy, Durant has continued to make his mark.

He appeared in his 250th career game earlier this season. By comparison, only two other active players (Shaq and LeBron) have scored more points through the first 250 career games than Durant (6,360 points at the time).

Durant has already led the Thunder in scoring in 14 games, has recorded three double-doubles and has scored more than 30 points in seven games.

One area he’s improved in has been at the foul line, where KD is shooting an NBA-best 92.3 percent from the charity stripe. Durant has been to the foul line more than 10 times in nine games, and he’s gone a perfect 16-for-16 from the line in two games.

All that goes to show is that even when KD’s shot isn’t falling, opponents still struggle to contain him.

-Team KD

Highlights from Zoom KD III Designer Leo Chang’s Facebook Chat

Yesterday, the designer of the Zoom KD line, Leo Chang, participated in a chat about the new Zoom KD III on the Nike Basketball Facebook. Here are some highlights from the chat.

*KD III is coming to Nike iD in the Spring of 2011: For those interested in customizing the KD III, this will be your opportunity to design the KD III in exactly the colorway you want. Leo hinted that there should be some other options available for customization of the KD III on Nike iD beyond just color.

*Biggest difference between the KD II and KD III: The KD III has no strap, has Flywire (Skinwire) technology and is lighter than the KD II.

*Shoe Weight: 13.5 ounces. Lighter than last year’s KD II.

*Cushioning setup: Zoom Air unit in the forefoot, Phylon midsole.

*What positions on the floor does the shoe work best for? Since Nike is aware that most of KD’s teammates like to wear the KD line, they designed the shoe to work for all 5 positions and for players as versatile as KD.

*Will the KD III’s be available in Kid sizes? Yes, in the spring of 2011.

*Why is Kevin Durant’s shoe only $88 when the Kobe and LeBron lines run over $130 each? Does it mean the shoe is inferior? KD insists Nike make his shoe at a price point under $90, so Nike has to get real creative on designing and building a shoe that can perform as well as Kobe and LeBron lines. By no means is it inferior in performance. Nike tries to pack as much punch in it as possible. They just are more efficient with their embellishments so they can focus on performance. The technology must be pretty sufficient as KD wears STOCK KD III kicks with no additional performance customizations.

*How involved was KD in the design process? KD was very involved in the design process. Nike started by asking him what he wanted in the KD III before Leo put pen to paper. KD even let teammates like Nick Collison have an influence on the design. A lot of the storytelling details were specifically requested by KD. Video game controller buttons, something that talked about his team, his family, and Seat Pleasant (his hometown). Video game controller buttons: KD is a bit obsessed with gaming! Piano keys: KD loves to make beats when he’s not hooping and playing games. WP: KD’s parents’ initials, Seat Pleasant: Seat Pleasant Rec Center is where he lived and breathed basketball as a kid. The 5 thunder bolts: TEAM…he’s so tight with his team that he wanted us to find a way to symbolize that. Performance wise he’s all about having a lightweight, comfort, sleek conforming fit.

*Will the KD line remain under $90 in the future? Yes, as long KD wants to keep his signature shoe under $90, Nike will oblige. KD wants everyone to be able to afford his shoes! It’s something he’s always dreamed of.

*Will there be a creamsicle colorway? Yes, but it won’t be the orange version that he wore last year with the KD II. Leo was tight lipped about the actual colorway, but mentioned KD will wear the colorway on Christmas day. There will also at least be 7 different colorways released, with some additional player edition/special edition colorways released at the Footlocker House of Hoops.

Make sure you pick up a pair of Zoom KD III kicks here.

Nike Zoom KD III Road Colorway Available NOW! (Black/Photo Blue/Team Orange)

Pick up the first colorway of KD’s Nike Zoom KD III signature shoe now in the Nike Store. You can pick up the shoes by clicking on the picture below. The shoes are available for $88. After you pick up a pair of KD III’s, be sure to send in a photo of yourself holding the shoes to KD35sightings [at] gmail.com so it can be featured on the KD III sightings section of the site.

Inspired by Kevin Durant, one of the game’s most potent all-around performers, the versatile Nike Zoom KD III Men’s Basketball Shoe is a unique twist on a traditional hoops sneaker. Signature details on the outsole tell Durant’s story, from his hobbies to his favorite on-court memories, while the shoe’s cutting-edge construction lends stability and comfort on the hardwood.

Benefits
Full-grain leather upper for durability
Flywire for ultra-lightweight support and comfort
Nike Zoom for low-profile cushioning and lightweight performance

Cushioning
Nonstop sprinting on hard, wooden floors demands excellent cushioning. In a sleek three-quarter silhouette, the KD III features a Nike Zoom unit in the heel for lightweight, low-profile cushioning for all four quarters.

Stability
The Nike Zoom KD III Men’s Basketball Shoe features a Flywire body, a web of super-light, super-strong nylon fibers that support the foot by encasing it in a secure hug. Weaved in with the laces, an arch strap provides extra lockdown.

Signature Details
Gaming is one of Kevin Durant’s favorite pastimes, so it’s fitting that a “KD 35” design on the heel resembles a video game controller. Another bold “KD” logo pops on the tongue, and Durant’s signature is etched onto the arch strap.

Outsole Story
Before he became an NBA All-Star, Durant played street ball in the Barry Farms Goodman League in his hometown, Washington D.C. A “BF62” pattern on the outsole pays tribute to the neighborhood of Barry Farms and a memorable game in which he scored 62 points. Five lightning bolts represent his team—one for each player on the court—and piano keys near the heel and midfoot symbolize his passion for music.

Additional Details
Rubber outsole with herringbone pattern for multidirectional traction
Flex grooves for enhanced flexibility and a smooth, efficient stride

Introducing the Nike Zoom KD III

UPDATE: The KD III road colorway is available in the Nike Store NOW!

KD was back last night after missing two games due to a mild ankle injury. In his return he not only dropped 28 points on the T-Wolves, but also debuted his new Nike Zoom KD III shoes. Here’s a first look at the shoes (road colorway). More news and information on release dates and colorways coming very soon.

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