How Good Was Kevin Durant in College and Why Was He Not The First Pick of the 2007 NBA Draft?

Published 02/16/2021, 7:42 AM EST
Jan 20, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) drives against Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. (22) in the first quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant is arguably one of the best scorers in NBA history. The 6’10” forward has shattered multiple records in his 14 year career.


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Offensively, he has been a one-man wrecking ball. Despite playing with Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook, Durant has always been the standout player in any team he has played for.

It has been a similar case with the Brooklyn Nets as well. Though he played alongside attacking talents like James Harden and Kyrie Irving, KD has dominated the charts all across the board.


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But was this case with the Slim Reaper in college as well?

Kevin Durant’s college career in Texas Longhorns

Durant only played a single year in college. He was the best player on the team by a mile and averaged a ridiculous 25.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. His scoring prowess was in full display in his college career, when he scored at least 30 points in 11 games, and had 20 double doubles.

His most memorable game was against the New Mexico State in the NCAA tournament where Durant hit scored 37 points, hitting six three pointers, 16 free throw attempts and had six blocks in a single game.

After such a dominant career in this college. Durant was obviously one of the best prospects who declared for the 2007 draft. But people also had their doubts with the then 6’9″ forward. Pundits doubted that he might not be able to this dominant offensively in a physical league like the NBA.

Durant has obviously proved his critics wrong and has had one of the best careers in the league.

Why was Kevin Durant not the number one pick for the 2007 NBA draft?

Durant‘s superb season with the Long Horns showcased the immense potential he had, making him one of the top picks ahead of the draft. But the doubts surrounding his athleticism prevailed as one name emerged as the favorite to be the number one pick- Greg Oden.

Oden, a seven-feet center, showed extreme promise. He was a prolific shot blocker and also a dominant presence in the paint. In his one year with the Ohio State he averaged 15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. Unlike Durant, Oden was more athletic and had the perfect build to be a good center.

He was even impressive in his pre draft workouts with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers lacked a quality center, and Oden was the much safer pick, according to the Blazers.

Thus, Greg Oden became the first overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft. But a string of injuries marred his rookie season. The constant injury blows made the Blazers impatient, and they eventually waived him.

The Blazers have committed blunders before

This was not the first time that the Portland Trail Blazers passed on an opportunity to sign one of the best scorers. Back in the 1984 draft, the Blazers drafted Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan, who was number two. Oden suffered the same fate as Bowie, as both of them turned out to be the biggest busts in NBA history.

Meanwhile, Durant flourished as a Supersonic. In his very first season he averaged an insane 20.3 points, 2.4 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game. This superb season guaranteed him the Rookie of the Year trophy.


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His rookie season gave us an idea of the potential Durant had, and he has certainly lived up to expectations. KD has won four scoring championships, two finals MVPs and an MVP trophy in the 2013-14 regular season.

Despite coming back from dreaded Achilles injury, Kevin Durant is having one of the best scoring seasons since his MVP season. In the 19 games he has played with the Nets, he averaged 29 points, 5.3 assists, and 7.3 rebounds per game.


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If he can continue this fantastic form with the Nets for the remainder of the season, he might end up with his third championship very soon.


Aditya Mohapatra

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Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.