Thunder's Kevin Durant calls injury-plagued 2014-15 his 'toughest year'

Thunder's Kevin Durant is used to being a star, but in 2014-15 he had to get used to the bench

One of the hardest things for a professional athlete to do doesn't have to do with the physical act of playing the game, but rather the inability to play.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant experienced that firsthand this season when the NBA's reigning most valuable player and scoring champion was limited to just 27 games because of foot injuries.

"It's definitely been the toughest year I've ever had playing basketball, but just try to look forward to and stay positive with it all and help my guys out," Durant said, according to Sports Illustrated. "Every day I tell myself we're going to look back on this and smile and laugh at it and recognize this is just an obstacle we had to climb over to get to where we want to get to."

Durant missed the first 17 games of 2014-15 after undergoing surgery before the season on his right foot. The injury flared up again during the regular season forcing the six-time NBA All-Start to miss more time, and eventually cost him his season.

Durant ultimately had to have a season-ending bone-graft procedure done on March 31.

While Durant was injured, the Thunder became guard Russell Westbrook's team. Westbrook, who also missed time because of injury, lead the NBA with 28.1 points per game thanks in part to an explosion of offense which resulted in a league-high 11 triple doubles.

That too was tough on Durant.

"I couldn't really enjoy it as much because when I watch TV I hear all this you comparing two teammates together all the time," Durant said. "It's kind of tough to watch it sometimes. Then I hear everything about if Russ playing well, I'm getting traded and all this other stupid stuff."

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme

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