At 34 years old, in his 14th season, Kevin Durant is racking up 35.8 minutes per game, his highest mark since the 2015-16 campaign.
Coming off of a major Achilles injury, there has been some level of concern regarding Durant's playtime this season.
Nevertheless, in a chat with the media, the 11x All-Star denied that he had any desire to lessen the load.
“I know a lot of people, I don’t even know if they’re concerned or not, I just think it’s a conversation to have, like I’m playing more minutes and I’m coming off an injury and all this other stuff,” Durant said, per Bleacher Report. “But I like to play."
“I’m a basketball player, I enjoy to play, I want to play 48 minutes. That’s just what it is. If I could convince coach to play me the whole second half sometimes or put me in earlier in quarters, I’m going to do it every game, it doesn’t matter. My basketball life is not that long, so I want to get the most out of it.”
Today, load management has become a popular trend among NBA stars. Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James are just some of the most notorious players who have joined the practice.
While some praise the trend for conserving a player's durability, it hasn't always been widely accepted.
“It’s crazy," said Kobe Bryant."You got a lot of people paying their hard-earned money to come watch you perform. It’s your job to be in shape and be able to perform at that level every night. As a competitor, I’m not ducking sh*t.”
In Durant's case, it's understandable why he would want to limit his playing time early on. With the Nets being a lock for the playoffs, and his Achilles injury still in the back of everyone's minds, it makes sense for him to preserve his body for a run at the end.
He just loves the game way too much for that, and that's okay too.