Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant has reached the summit of ESPN The Magazine as its 2010 NEXT winner – the athlete destined to make the biggest impact on sports in the coming year, and for years to come. The double-cover NEXT/ESPN 100 issue will hit newsstands Friday.
At 6-foot-9, Durant has a delicate touch, lightning speed and rare work ethic is looking to blaze his own trail to the top. He also is being billed as a rare kind of player: The superstar nobody has the heart to hate.
Quotes from the article:
Shane Battier of the Houston Rockets, on Durant: “No matter how talented a young player is, his first year is sink or swim. Can he survive in a man’s league? Obviously Kevin did, and he did it pretty well.”
Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman, on Durant: “He’s got all the ability in the world. And he keeps getting better.”
Durant: “I want to win more than anybody. I want to be one of the greatest players of all time. I want to be remembered. But I don’t think you have to be a bad person to be a great player. I think I can be one guy on the court and another guy off.”
2010 NEXT runners-up:
2. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans tailback
3. John Wall, University of Kentucky basketball
4. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals pitcher
5. Melanie Oudin, Tennis