Tony Durant Interview: Durant Discusses His Brother Kevin, Playing in China, His Company, Dealing With Critics & Warriors Championship
Jeffrey Kee: How’d you first get into hoops?
Tony Durant: I grew up in Prince George’s County [Maryland]. Basketball is huge there. When I was a kid, my mom started taking my brother and I to the local rec center and that’s where we first developed a love for basketball.
Kee: At what age did you see potential in Kevin that he’d be a special player?
Durant: When he was about 12 or 13 years old, I realized that if he kept working hard he’d end up being a really great player.
Kee: You played your college ball at Towson University. Talk about that experience a little bit.
Durant: My career at Towson was really good. I definitely had my up’s and down’s early on, but I was young and was able to learn from those experiences. At the end of the day, I think I got exactly what I wanted out of my college career. I put the work in and the results spoke for themselves.
Kee: Did you play professionally after that?
Durant: Yeah, I played in China for two years and I played in the D-League for a little bit after that. As soon as that ended, I decided to start my own company and work for my brother.
Kee: What was it like playing in China?
Durant: It was actually kind of awkward, but it was still a great experience at the end of the day. I had been to China with Kevin prior to playing there, so I was already a little bit accustomed to the culture, which made things a little bit easier for me as a player.
Kee: As an American was it difficult for you to go overseas and immerse yourself within the Chinese culture?
Durant: Oh yeah, it was definitely a big adjustment, but at the end of the day, life is about making adjustments and you just have to roll with the punches sometimes.
Kee: Did you pick up on the language at all?
Durant: No! Definitely did not.
Kee: You said you played in the D-League too. Who’d you play for?
Durant: I played with the Tulsa 66ers who were the Oklahoma City Thunder’s affiliate team. I went to training camp with them, but ended up deciding to work for my brother instead and stopped playing professionally after that.
Kee: What type of company did Kevin have?
Durant: At the time, my brother had a company called Kevin Durant Enterprises. Since then, I’ve started my own business called Full Circle Management, which focuses on luxury business management and basketball marketing, so that’s what I’m doing right now.
Kee: Speaking of your brother, how’d you handle all of the criticism that was thrown at him when he announced he was signing with the Warriors?
Durant: I handled it the way a big brother should. I’m always there to protect Kevin. I keep my mouth closed most of the time, but I’m not afraid to shove it in people’s faces either. I can take the criticism and I can dish it out too.
Kee: What was it like watching he and the Warriors win the NBA Championship last month?
Durant: Man, it was so exhilarating. Winning a championship was always his main goal. It was something that he and I had always talked about since he was young, and it’s also the one thing that defines every great player’s career. I don’t care what anyone says. He earned it.
Kee: Were you at Game 5 when the Warriors closed out the series?
Durant: Oh yeah, definitely. I was at every game.
Kee: You talked about your business. You’re here coaching in The Basketball Tournament (TBT). What are some of your goals moving forward?
Durant: I just want to be able to continue helping families all over the world. My family has been very blessed to be in the type of position we’re in where people know us and know what we stand for. I want to be able to use that influence to help bring people closer to their dreams.