CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has won every major NBA award there is to win: Rookie of the Year, MVP, Finals MVP and All-Star Game MVP.
Now, he’s just padding the Hall of Fame résumé, which also includes two Olympic gold medals and 2010 FIBA World Cup MVP.
Durant won his second All-Star Game MVP award with a 31-point performance in Team LeBron’s 178-164 victory against Team Giannis on Sunday.
“It’s all sweet to me. I mean, it’s hard to rank. Everything’s special,” Durant said. “But it’s cool to be out there with some of the best players to ever play the game, and to win an MVP here in front of my family and friends is pretty sweet. I just keep trying to rack them up, I guess.”
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Durant was engaged from start to finish, scoring 10 points in the first quarter and 11 in the fourth, and in Durant fashion, he was an assassin in those bookend quarters. He shot 4-for-5 in the opening quarter and 4-for-4, including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, in the final quarter.
For a while, it looked like Team Giannis would win the game and Antetokounmpo, who finished with 38 points, would become the first international player to win the All-Star MVP.
Durant made consecutive 3-pointers that stretched Team LeBron’s lead to 161-153 and then his 3-pointer with 1:56 remaining in the fourth made it 171-160 and just about ended Team Giannis’ chance at a comeback.
“As a veteran now coming back, winning another MVP is cool to put into the trophy case,” Durant said.
Durant has had a stellar season, and while he’s not among top contenders for regular-season MVP, he’s headed toward another first-team All-NBA spot.
“Just try to make every shot I shoot, try not to turn the ball over, try to box out, just try to be perfect,” Durant said. “That’s my next step, is to try to be perfect. I know it’s impossible, but it’s a good goal to strive toward. I think every player thinks that way.”
Away from the court, it hasn’t been as smooth. He recently lashed out at reporters in the Bay Area for speculating about his future. Durant can be a free agent this summer, and there is chatter that he could leave Golden State, which is trying to win a third consecutive championship, for another team — possibly the New York Knicks.
Durant hates that talk. But it is part of what makes the NBA engine run like it does. The intriguing off-court fodder matches the outstanding on-court performances.
Durant didn’t address his future after this season at All-Star Weekend, as expected.
If he and the Warriors keep playing like they are, another title and perhaps another Finals MVP award is in his short-term future.
Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.