Best Kevin Durant Quotes

Table of Contents

Kevin Durant is a polarizing figure. NBA fans either love him or hate him. If you are a fan of KD’s opposing team, he will probably break your heart with his prolific scoring ability. If you are a fan of his team, he will probably break your heart by leaving for greener pastures next season.

But one thing is for certain. Kevin Durant is an outstanding player. His accolades speak for themselves. Two Championship rings. Two Olympic gold medals. Two Finals MVP Awards. One Season MVP Award. The list goes on and on. And despite all the trash talk amongst NBA fans, off the court, he presents himself as a humble man with a lot to teach about life.

So, we have compiled a list of motivational Kevin Durant quotes that he has shared throughout his career. We hope you find his words of wisdom helpful in your own life!

Quotes by Kevin Durant

To help inspire you, we have broken down all of the best Kevin Durant quotes into a categorized list. Each category plays an important part in helping KD achieve his dreams and he speaks about these subjects often. Plus, there is one very famous Kevin Durant quote that you will know from a viral meme!

Hard Work

This may come as no surprise, but there is one thing that KD ranks as the most important factor in his success: hard work! 

In the gym, Kevin puts in hard work doing daily exercises for mobility, strength, shooting and defense. The results speak for themselves. When he was drafted in 2007, KD was the only player unable to bench 185lbs. Now he consistently stonewalls 260lb players like Pau Gasol in the post. He also puts in work off the court as well and has become an actor, musician and documentary maker. 

Here is a list of inspirational Kevin Durant quotes about working hard to achieve your dreams: 

  • “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
  • “It’s hard to play well, but it’s easy to work hard.”
  • “Everything in my life, I had to take it. They are not going to give it to you out of sympathy. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
  • “I know that hard work got me here. And the day I stop working hard, this can all go away.”
  • “Work harder than your opponent.”
  • “My mother taught me to always be strong and always work hard. She’s been working hard her whole life for me and my brother. I’m a lot like her in that I work hard for what I want. She taught me that.”


Kevin Durant came from humble beginnings. He spent much of his childhood without a father and was raised with the help of his grandmother. His single mother often struggled to put food on the table and a roof over the family’s head. As a teenager, his AAU coach was murdered, and he began wearing the number 35 in his honor. The start of KD’s life was by no means easy.

But Kevin Durant did not let the adversity of his childhood stop him from setting goals and achieving his dreams. Instead, he used that adversity to inspire himself. His childhood struggles motivated him to attain a better life for his family and himself.

Here are some motivational Kevin Durant quotes about overcoming adversity:

  • “My dream was to become a rec league coach. I love basketball so much, I love playing it, I just never thought I’d make it to college, NBA, or be standing up here today. It is a surreal feeling. So many people doubted me and motivated me. I failed so many times and got back up. I got through the toughest times with my family, but I’m still standing.”
  • “I was the second-best player in high school. I was the second pick in the draft. I’ve been second in the MVP voting three times. I came in second in the Finals. I’m tired of being second. I’m not going to settle for that. I’m done with it.”
  • “This was the hardest road because I don’t know anybody here. I’ve never lived in this community, never played for this team and I took a leap.”

Setting Goals

Even with his humble beginnings, Kevin Durant was setting big goals for himself at a young age. It was his dream as a child to play for his favorite team, the Toronto Raptors, alongside his favorite player, Vince Carter. He began playing AAU basketball and by the time he graduated high school, he was named the All-Met Basketball Player of the Year and the MVP of the 2006 McDonalds All-American Game. A year later at Texas University, he won all ten widely recognized College Basketball awards and became the first freshman ever to win national player of the year. Finally, he was drafted into the NBA and the rest is history.

KD knew that by setting goals he would achieve great things. Here are 6 of the best Kevin Durant quotes about setting goals for himself:

  • “It’s fun that I get to live out my dream every single day. It’s a blessing. I can’t lose sight of that and I’ve just got to keep pushing.”
  • “My wildest dreams are when I’m wide awake.”
  • “Basketball is a platform for me to inspire people.”
  • “It feels good to be a part of history.”
  • “I want to go down as a winner.”
  • “I always want to win because I never want to sit out on the sidelines outside.”
  • “Every memory I had growing up was involving a basketball. I didn’t go to the prom and stuff like that. It was always basketball for me.”

Be Yourself

When you think about the typical NBA player, you probably think three things: tall, muscular and athletic. But that is not always the case. Some of the greats like Isaiah Thomas and Nate Robinson are notoriously short! These players realize that to overcome your shortcomings, you have to be comfortable in who you are as a person.

Kevin Durant was the weakest player in the 2007 NBA Draft, but he didn’t let that stop him from being drafted second pick. Since then, he has continuously faced criticism for his decisions to seek team trades and chase championships. But he never let his weaknesses or critics define him. He owns who he is as a person and has found ways to overcome the things that other people criticize him for.

Here is a list of motivational Kevin Durant quotes about being yourself:

  • “With everything I do, I just try to be myself.”
  • “I’m just trying to grow. One thing I’ve told myself is, don’t worry about who people say is the best player.”
  • “I’m a basketball player. That’s what I do and what I love but that’s just not all who I am. I’m talented in a lot of different areas.”
  • “I’ve been more content with just who I am.”
  • “I like to sit on things and digest them and then I’ll figure out my next move…”
  • “I’m like a chameleon. I adapt to my situation. It’s very slowed down here. I like it that way. I’m a guy that’s very reserved, quiet and shy myself.”
  • “Twitter is a place where I can let people know what type of person I am, and I got some good feedback from it. More good than bad, so it’s a good outlet to let people know who I am.”


Although he describes himself as shy, that doesn’t mean that Kevin Durant isn’t confident in himself. We all know he is a stone-cold killer on the basketball court. If someone is going to take the clutch buzzer-beater, you already know it’s going to be KD.

But where does he get this confidence from? He says it comes from constantly challenging himself against other players, stepping outside of his comfort zone, and proving the haters wrong.

Here are five of the best quotes Kevin Durant has shared about having self-confidence:

  • “I’ve heard a few times, in three or four years, this league is going to be yours. I don’t like that. Because I think I’m established now. My time is now.”
  • “When people are used to you doing something, they want you to stay in that lane.”
  • “So many people doubted me. They motivated me every single day to be who I am.”
  • “My style has changed and evolved mainly because I’ve grown to have more confidence in myself.”
  • “Whoever wants my spot can play me one-on-one for it.”


Kevin Durant has experienced both the struggles and successes of life. He has known what it is like to be poor and helpless. And he has known what it is like to be wealthy and prosperous. But throughout all of it, KD has always remained humble. He understands and sympathizes with people who are struggling. And most importantly, he knows that nothing can be taken for granted in life.

Here are five famous Kevin Durant quotes about staying humble:

  • “I’m not a guy that’s going to brag or feel like I’m better than the group.”
  • “I’ve learned what it feels like to lose, believe me. But I think in the end, that is just going to make winning that much better.”
  • “My mom just wants to make sure that my heart is always in whatever I do and I’m in things for the right reasons.”
  • “My friends are happy for me, and that’s all that matters.”
  • “We live in a world of what have you done for me lately. We don’t remember the day before sometimes. Think back five, six, years ago what he was doing. It’s unheard of.”

Playing Basketball

As a four-time NBA Scoring Champion and ten-time NBA All-Star, Kevin Durant knows a thing or two about playing basketball. So, what advice does Kevin Durant have for his fellow ballers?

Here’s a list of Kevin Durant quotes about basketball:  

  • “Chemistry is important. If you like teammates, it’s going to be easier to play with them on the court.”
  • “When you got people behind you, you can do whatever.”
  • “With a versatile player, there’s no spot on the court you can’t pass him the ball. You can do anything.”
  • “I’ll play all five positions if my team needs me to.”
  • “You gotta win. That’s all it takes.”
  • “I don’t watch a lot of other basketball away from the gym. But I do look at LeBron’s box score. I want to see how many points, rebounds and assists he had, and how he shot from the field. If he had 30 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, I can tell you exactly how he did it, what type of shots he made and who he passed to.”

Most Famous Kevin Durant Quotes

As mentioned earlier, Kevin Durant had a tough childhood and humble beginnings. His mother raised him as a single parent and struggled financially for a long time. KD was always appreciative of this and finally got to thank her in front of the world in 2014.

After winning the NBA Season MVP award, KD delivered a powerful acceptance speech. Whilst tearfully thanking his mother for all her sacrifices, he shared a famous quote which went on to inspire the viral meme: ‘You the Real MVP’.

Here is Kevin Durant’s famous quote in full:

You made us believe. You kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You the real MVP.

Quotes About Kevin Durant

So, now we know what motivates and inspires Kevin Durant. We know that KD’s favorite player growing up was Vince Carter. We know that his favorite team was the Toronto Raptors. And we know that the player who inspires him most now is Lebron James.

But what do other players and famous people think about Kevin Durant? Here is a list of the best quotes about Kevin Durant by other people:

  • “I retired without really being able to figure out how I can stop him.” – Kobe Bryant
  • “Kevin Durant is one of the best players that I have ever played against. One of the best that this league has ever seen. His ability to handle the ball, shoot the ball and make plays. At his length, at his size, at his speed. There it is.” – Lebron James
  • “I am really proud of the work that you (Kevin Durant) are doing for the next generation” – Bill Russell
  • “I want to do for Milwaukee what Kevin Durant did for Oklahoma City” – Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • “KD’s talented. He can handle. Shoot the ball. I mean, he’s a rare breed. No matter where he ends up, he’s going to be great.” – James Harden
  • “I told Kevin that he reminded me a little bit of Tim Duncan and his time with the Spurs. He made max money and then at key times in his career he took a little less so they could add a player here and there.” – Steve Kerr
  • “No matter how we guard him, he scores 30. He’s going to figure out some way to score. We try to stop him but he still gets his shots off, gets to the line and does what he does, no matter what. That’s who Kevin Durant is. That’s why he’s so great.” – Gregg Popovich
  • ‘Kevin Durant is special’ – Larry Bird
  • “Kevin Durant is so good man, we’ve never seen anybody like him. He’s special. In terms of scoring at 6’11’. He can score from anywhere on the court. I love him because he loves to play basketball. You’re never going to see another Lebron or KD. They’re once in a lifetime players. Those are special special guys.” – Magic Johnson

4th Quarter

It is obvious from Kevin Durant’s motivational quotes that he has had to work hard to become the two-time NBA Champion that he is. As he said himself, he wants to help others to work hard, set their own goals and overcome adversity. This is advice that can be applied to all aspects of your life. Especially basketball.

Hopefully, Kevin Durant’s inspirational quotes also help you to be yourself, have self-confidence and show humility. Although KD might be criticized by some for trading teams, no one can say that he does not trust in himself and make his own decisions. These are important factors in living a life that is best for you and accepting the criticism that comes with that.

If KD had never taken his own advice, he might not have succeeded in achieving his dreams. So, learn from the wisdom he has shared and maybe one day you can look in the mirror and repeat the famous Kevin Durant quote: “You the Real MVP”!

What do you think is the best Kevin Durant quote? We’d love to hear what you think about KD! Do you love him? Do you hate him? Do you respect his game? Have Kevin Durant’s motivational quotes inspired you?

Justin D. Johnson
Justin D. Johnson
Justin is a PhD student at Stanford University and has been a basketball youth coach for over ten years. He is passionate about sports, cinema, astronomy, and sharing knowledge.