Kevin Durant Is Very Aware of His Shooting Percentage

Dan Favale@@danfavaleFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - DECEMBER 29 :  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against the Houston Rockets at the Chesapeake Arena on December 29, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Richard Rowe/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA Photos/Getty Images

Kevin Durant cares about a lot of things. Chief among his priorities is efficiency.

After committing one of his two turnovers in the Oklahoma City Thunder's victory over the Houston Rockets, Durant needed to ensure his blunder was scored properly, per the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen:

Policing shooting percentages is nothing new for the four-time All-Star. Compared to the in-game calculations he does in his head, I'd says this latest quirk is more of a normality.

Last year, he made it perfectly clear to the Daily Thunder's Royce Young there are only certain situations when he allows himself to shoot last-second heaves:

It depends on what I’m shooting from the field. First quarter if I’m 4-for-4, I let it go. Third quarter if I’m like 10-for-16, or 10-for-17, I might let it go. But if I’m like 8-for-19, I’m going to go ahead and dribble one more second and let that buzzer go off and then throw it up there. So it depends on how the game’s going.

Different situations, same goal—preserve his shooting percentage.

Though compulsive and overly tentative in theory, you would care about your stats too if that's how you made a living. Inefficient players are lampooned for poor shooting percentages, and with advanced analytics on the rise, economic scorers are valued above everyone else.

We also have to consider Durant is chasing another piece of history. 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

Last season, he joined Larry Bird as the second player in league history to average at least 28 points per game while shooting 50/40/90 from the floor, three-point line and charity stripe, respectively. Durant is currently chasing another 50/40/90 campaign, as he's shooting 49.6 percent overall, 42.6 percent from deep and 88.1 percent from the foul line.

If he accomplishes the same feat a second time, he'll join Steve Nash and Bird as the only players in NBA history to register 50/40/90 crusades more than once.

So yeah, this stuff matters to Durant.

"No. Nope," Russell Westbrook told Young of tracking his stats last season. "If I was considering about [statistics] I’d do a lot of s*** different."

Those who sit at the scorer's table, make note: Durant isn't Westbrook. Full-court heaves are not his friend, and errant passes mistaken for shots won't be tolerated.

When he hits an onlooker in the face with a botched kick-out, he oversees due process at the scorer's table first and makes apologies second (kidding...I think).

Durant cares about his shooting percentages and will travel great lengths to ensure they're both accurate and digestible, even if it means taking time out mid-game to do someone else's job for them.

*All stats used courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless otherwise noted.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.