OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant had finally reached the pinnacle.
After years of chasing LeBron James, the Thunder forward finally was named league MVP two seasons ago. His emotional acceptance speech was as memorable as his play, and soon, endorsement deals piled up like points for the four-time scoring champion.
Everything was moving in the right direction heading into last season. Superstar point guard Russell Westbrook, who had missed much of Durant’s MVP run due to injury, was healthy again, making the Thunder one of the favorites to win it all.