On the latest episode of The Boardroom’s Out of Office With Rich Kleiman, superstar Kevin Durant takes a trip down memory lane and reveals that while he’s hailed for his composure on the court, things haven’t always been easy off of it—especially prior to games. NBA basketball is a demanding sport, and between the media critiques, playing in front of millions of fans, and the organizational expectations to earn your exorbitant salary, performing on the court only becomes more daunting as the stakes become higher.
“I realized my nerves were before the games, [and] I got a little bit of anxiety to start,” the two-time NBA champ admitted. “I wake up, I’m so fidgety, agitated, and shit. Then throughout the day, always looking at the clock. I had to realize I can’t be too on edge.”
The cure for those pre-game jitters came courtesy of preparation.
“Knowing if I prepare the right way, have good intentions, just work hard as I can, then anything that’s thrown at me, I can be able to handle,” Durant said. “Especially on the court. I’m a scholar at this, I’m a professional, I’m still learning every day, but, you know, I’ve outlasted a lot of people when it comes to studying this.”
And after getting knocked out of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks this postseason, KD intends to put that preparedness to good use when he makes his third trip to the Summer Olympics in July.
“Tokyo—I’ve never been there before,” he said. “Playing with [Jayson] Tatum and Dame [Lillard], [I] never played those dudes, so I’m looking forward to that. And just that overall experience, traveling with the team, hooping with the guys, and playing [with] Pop (Olympic head coach Gregg Popovich), I’m looking forward to that. But more importantly it’s hooping with these superstars that’s going to be fun. Seeing dudes in different environments, having to mesh our talents together. That’s always the coolest part of this.”
To listen to Durant’s interview in full, check out the latest episode of Out of Office with Rich Kleiman on your podcast platform of choice.