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Best Game Ever: At 13, Kevin Durant realized he could outplay big men

Best Game Ever: At 13, Kevin Durant realized he could outplay big men
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is a two-time NBA Finals MVP and a league MVP in 2013-14. (Jeff Chiu / AP)

Dan Woike asked NBA players to tell us about the best game in their basketball career. This week: Kevin Durant.

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Spring 2002: AAU game (with PG Jaguars)

Kevin Durant is a two-time NBA Finals MVP and a league MVP in 2013-14, one of the most unique players in league history because of his combination of size and skill. For his best game ever, Durant remembered the day he learned that combination was special.

“Alright, let’s take it all the way back. I was 13 years old. I was about 5-11, I was in the eighth grade and we played against a 6-5 center. His name was “Oak Tree.” They called him that. They were from Virginia, somewhere deep in Virginia — Richmond, I think. And, I’m from Maryland and we met up somewhere in the middle and played in a tournament. This guy, he was towering over everybody. I was a skilled 5-11 big man for my team who could shoot threes and who could dribble and get past people. We ended up going into double overtime. I had probably 26 that game and we scored 52 (as a team). But I was just running circles around this big dude. I think that’s when I realized that big dudes can’t stay in front of me. That was my first taste of actually having to go against someone who was that much bigger than I was.”

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