While veterans like Vince Carter, Manu Ginobili, and Jason Terry continue their NBA careers into their 40s, Kevin Durant doesn’t sound like he’s planning to play quite that long. Speaking to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Durant said that he can envision himself deciding to retire at age 35.
“This game, your craft, you have to continue studying it,” Durant said. “No matter how much you enjoy it, nobody wants to be in school that long. I know I don’t. At some point, you have to be ready to graduate. Thirty-five, that’s just a number in my mind.”
Durant, who will turn 30 in September, just won his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP and has established himself as one of the top two or three players in the league. While his raw scoring numbers have dipped a little since he arrived in Golden State, Durant has been more efficient than ever with the Warriors, with a shooting line of .525/.400/.882, and has evolved into an excellent defender.
Given Durant’s dominance, it’s hard to imagine he’d opt for retirement in just five or six years. Durant’s business partner Rich Kleiman tells Haynes that the former MVP has talked to him in the past about potentially retiring at age 35, but Kleiman is skeptical.
“I heard him say that, but I’ll believe it when it happens,” Kleiman said.
When Durant does eventually move into the next stage of his career, he’s expected to remain involved in basketball. The star forward has previously talked about his desire to own an NBA team, but admits to Haynes that his post-playing career could take a different direction.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Durant said. “That’s the beauty. I’d hate to say, ‘Man, I don’t want to do this, do that’ when I’m done playing. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to still be in love with the game and want to be around it every day. Who knows? I might want to be a coach or a GM or an owner or somebody that works guys out or somebody that’s trying to tell basketball stories like Kobe [Bryant]. Who knows?
“I feel like I have options,” Durant continued. “I’m young, I’m still learning life and about basketball. I have a whole life ahead of me that I’m excited about, and I thank basketball for opening up so many doors for me.”