Is Kevin Durant Wasting His Summer Instead of Working on His Defense?

Kyle RamosCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12:  Kevin Durant #5 of the United States looks on during the Men's Basketball gold medal game between the United States and Spain on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympics Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 12, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant hasn't been off much during his offseason so far. Instead, he has been very busy with some activity both on and off the court.

Whether it's winning a gold medal in London, starring in his very own feature-length film, or taking his skills to the mic for his rap album, the Durantula has had his hand in a lot of different things since his season ended.

While I am 100 percent in favor of Durant representing our country and getting to play with the NBA's best, the nagging question remains: Is all of this distracting Kevin Durant from his NBA goals?

Aside from just Olympic basketball, Durant's off-the-court pursuits might not be taking a toll on him physically, but it could be time that's better spent.

One area that KD may be looking to improve on is his defense, something that could have changed the outcome of this past season's NBA Finals. Durant isn't necessarily a bad defender, but if he was able to become more of a presence on defense, playing against teams with small forwards like LeBron James may be an easier task for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now I know what you may be thinking, why can't Durant have some fun during his offseason? Why can't he spend some free time rapping and starring in movies? 

I'm not trying to be a party pooper, but Durant is getting paid millions of dollars to do one thing: play basketball. Sure, maybe the other guys in the league are spending their offseasons on some non-basketball activity, but those other guys aren't on the same level that Durant is on.

Being just 23 years old and already being considered one of the best basketball players in the world should not be taken lightly, and I don't think Durant takes it lightly either.

Having fun is something that should be on the back burner for Durant, who was just a few wins away from leading his Thunder to an NBA Championship. Think about what happened to LeBron James after he lost in the NBA Finals in 2011. He was crushed and broken up about it, but he did what was get right back to work and get better any way he could.

That turned out pretty well for James since he won his first NBA Championship this past summer to go with his third MVP award. Durant could really learn from LeBron's example here, especially since he has the potential to be just as great.

For Durant, it's hard to find areas where a three-time scoring champion could improve on offense, so it's only natural to focus on improving on defense.

The defensive side of the ball not really a weakness for KD, but it's definitely something that has room for improvement. He averaged over one steal and one block per game last season, but there's reason to believe that could be even higher.

Now that the Olympics are over, Durant is getting back to focusing on the upcoming season that starts in less than two months. Part of his preparation involves his offseason workouts with, you guessed it, LeBron James.

Besides just working on his physical attributes like strength and agility, this could be a valuable time for Durant to pick up some pointers from a pretty solid defender. In addition to learning the techniques of playing better defense, Durant also has a pretty big and long advantage on D with his 7'5" wingspan. 

By using that length and lankiness, it could greatly make up for his lack of strength and turn him into an Anthony Davis-type of defender.

The NBA season is closer than it seems and Durant hasn't had much time to work on his own individual game with how busy he has been. You could argue that Durant benefited from playing on the Olympic team, but I don't see how blowing out other teams will help his defense, since the competition wasn't quite NBA-level.

However, even with all of the other extracurriculars going on in Kevin Durant's life, we can only wait and see what kind of toll it took on him and his road to getting better each year.