Whether or not you’re a fan of basketball, or even Oklahoma City, it was hard not to Thunder Up last night. This newer franchise in the NBA has stormed the playoffs, and after last night’s win over the Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder is headed to the NBA finals.
Kevin Durant has become a face for the team and he’s becoming a super star on the court. He’s young, only 23, and a towering 6′ 9″ tall. He’s not big and he’s not bulky but he’s a fit and powerful player.
In recent seasons he’s put more emphasis on strength training, which has made him an even stronger player. He told Men’s Fitness that “Eating right and lifting three or four times a week will give me the extra push,” he needs to succeed, and said that he’s more aware of his training throughout the entire season rather than just what he does in the off season. Durant’s strength routine is said to involve weights, use of an Airex pad, TRX and moves like lunges.
Improving his balance has also been fundamental for Durant, so he works out on unstable surfaces, like the Airex pad. At home, you could use a BOSU ball.
When he’s training in the off season, he prefers to head back to the University of Texas at Austin basketball courts, where he spent his only year as a college basketball player. He says he likes being around the guys he went to college with, but he also appreciates Coach Todd Wright’s familiarity with his body. He told Men’s Fitness that “It’s a chance to get stronger and more flexible.” Durant has even said that Wright speaks frequently with his Thunder coaches and that they “use each others knowledge to my advantage.”
Whether for himself, his fans, or his fellow countrymen, Durant has an appreciation for fitness and health. In 2010, he went to Washington, D.C. for the Congressional Fitness Caucus where he met with the House of Representatives to help promote the importance of these issues.
“I’m not really not into politics, but to go there really put everything into perspective for me. It was pretty cool to see. I know that fitness and nutrition is very important, especially for the younger kids. I just wanted to get that point across,” he said in a personal blog post at KevinDurant35.com.
Basketball might be his job, but sports are really a game for Durant. During the NBA lockout at the start of this season, he went looking for something to keep him busy (and active). He told Jimmy Kimmel “I got really bored,” and recalled a Tweet in which he said “I need to run around or something.” He tweeted that he was looking for a flag football game and someone from Stillwater extended an invitation. When he pulled up, a bunch of OSU frat guys got in his van and they met with other teams where Durant humbly says he scored seven touchdowns.
You’d think that practicing for and playing more than 80 games in a season would be enough to keep a player fit, but Durant’s smart enough to know that what he’s doing off court will only make his time on court more valuable.