With a host of incoming NBA players in Chicago this week for the NBA draft combine, Kevin Durant has some advice for the next generation of stars.
“Stay your ass home, work out, and get better on your own time,” Durant told ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
The no.2 overall pick in 2007 recounts how the combine did little for him apart from being shamed for his his lack of strength.
“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Durant said. “All the strength coaches were laughing at me and s***. “They were giggling with each other that I couldn’t lift 185 pounds and I was like, ‘All right, keep laughing. Keep laughing.’ It was a funny thing because I was the only one that couldn’t lift it and I was struggling to lift it. I was embarrassed at that point, but I’m like, ‘Give me a basketball, please. Give me a ball.'”
Potential no.1 pick Markelle Fultz is the only top line prospect in attendance this year, with the majority of the lottery projected players including Lonzo Ball, Dennis Smith, Jayson Tatum and Malik Monk all taking a leaf out of Durant’s book and staying home.
“It’s good for guys who are trying to fight their way into the first round, fight their way into the draft … go to play,” Durant added.
“But if you’re like a top pick and you know you’re going to be a top pick, just work out. Just work on your game and then they’ll see you in the individual workouts, and they’ve been watching you all year, so your whole body of work is more important than just going there for a couple of days.”
Durant’s point is sound. If you’re already projected to go in the top five, a couple days doing out of context exercises in a gym have potential to do more harm than good.
In Durant’s case, the lack of bench press ability hasn’t seemed to slow down the eight-time All-Star.