Not sure how everyone spent their July 4 weekend. Kevin Durant spent part of his at the Orlando Pro Summer League watching basketball while wearing a t-shirt that read "High. Volume. Scorer." The Oklahoma City Thunder star also spoke with members of the media. Here are some of things Durant said about recovering from his surgically repaired foot and his own free agency one year from now:
On his right foot that underwent surgery three times since October including a season-ending procedure on March 31 (via The Oklahoman)
“We’re close to Phase 3 now,” Durant happily reported. “A three-phase rehab. It’s going well. I’m jumping when I’m shooting. I’m not quite running and cutting yet but I’m almost there. So it’s going well. I’m excited.” Durant said he’s still on track to be cleared for full basketball activities sometime next month, and barring any setbacks the 2014 MVP should be a go by opening night.
What's he doing in Central Florida (Note - The Thunder have an entry in the Orlando league, but stars of Durant's magnitude don't often show):
“These are my two off days, so I just tried to get out and see some basketball and check out the guys."
On free agent LaMarcus Aldridge's decision to leave Portland (via ESPN)
"You could kind of tell once this whole thing started that he was trying to go somewhere else," Durant said of Aldridge, who signed with the Spurs for four years and $80 million. "But in those decisions, man, you've just got to respect the guy for making a decision that was right for him. I know a lot of fans were probably upset in Portland with the decision. But at this point of your life and your career, you've got to focus on you."
Durant lauded LeBron James' decision to return to Cleveland during last year's free agency after a four-year stint in Miami. "I said this last year when Mr. James made his decision," Durant said. "It was pretty cool to see a guy do what he wants to do and not worry about what everybody thinks."
On facing his own free agency decision in the summer of 2016:
Rumors have swirled about Durant leaving the Thunder once his contract ends in 2016. Durant has spent his entire career as part of the franchise -- he played one year in Seattle before the team moved to Oklahoma City -- but because he was born in Washington, D.C., many think he might return home to the Washington Wizards. The New York Knicks and the Miami Heat are rumored to be in the mix as well.
Durant, however, said he isn't thinking about next year. "No, I haven't thought about it," he told ESPN. "I hear it all the time, but I really am just focusing on rehab. I can't get there unless I take care of today. That's the way I look at it even though I hear it from every side, thinking past to next summer. But I'm not even trying to focus on that."
The opening five days of 2015 free agency, particularly the first 72 hours, were all kinds of wild and that's without a star of Durant's magnitude. The summer of 2016 is going to be a wild and crazy time.