Much has been made about Kevin Durant’s close relationship with his mother, Wanda Durant. She is at many of Durant’s games, and even starred in a Lifetime movie about raising her two sons as a single mother.
This has caused many to speculate Durant does not have a good relationship with his father, Wayne Pratt. While it is true things were rocky at times, Durant reconnected with his father as he got older. Pratt admitted he made some mistakes, and spends his days trying to help mentor other men from making the same missteps.
Pratt is a police officer by trade, and also serves as an assistant basketball coach at Friendship Collegiate School. Durant leaned on his father as he weighed his free agent options, and ultimately chose to sign with the Golden State Warriors. Durant spoke to The Washington Post about the respect he has for his dad.
“He’s still working. He didn’t want to quit his job once I made it to the NBA. That’s kind of special. He always wants to support me, but he always wants to do something he loves,” Durant told The Washington Post.
Learn more about Durant’s father.
1. Pratt Walked Out on Durant When He Was a Toddler
Durant and his father have had a bumpy ride. According to The Undefeated, Pratt was 23 years old when he walked out on his two sons, leaving Wanda Durant to raise the family on her own. Durant was just one at the time.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Pratt referenced selfishness and immaturity as reasons for his departure.
“I felt like I was immature, selfish, I was young. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but my sons helped me realize how important it was to be in their lives by always wanting me to be around,” Pratt told The Washington Post.
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2. Durant & His Dad Were Able to Reconnect Later in Life
There was a lot to process given his father’s departure, but Durant was able to forgive him. It took ten years for Pratt to get back in good graces with his sons and ex-wife.
Despite being on good terms with his son, Pratt chooses to remain out of the spotlight. In his interview with The Undefeated, Pratt refuted the idea that it would be good for people to see a more public relationship with his son.
I don’t think so. The people that know, know me. Back in my community, everybody knows me. I’ve been a mentor. I’ve coached basketball. I’ve been a police officer for over 20-something years. I’ve done what I need to do for the people that need to know me.
If you go back to Washington, D.C., and ask people about me, they will tell you. I don’t feel I need to boast about that. If Kevin needs me to be there, I’ll be there. I will stand in front of the camera if he asks me to. Just sitting where I’m at, I’m good with that.
3. Pratt Called His Son “Green Room”, Because He Thought He Had an NBA Future
Every year, top NBA prospects sit in the NBA green room in New York waiting to hear their name called by commissioner Adam Silver.
Pratt had a habit of calling his son “Green Room” when he was in high school. Pratt saw his son’s future before most did, but Durant preferred for his father to keep his NBA thoughts to himself.
“When he was playing his junior year I used to yell, ‘Green Room!’ He used to say, ‘Dad, you have to stop saying that.’ I saw that he was going to be special. I saw that in between his 10th- and 11th-grade year. I said, ‘This kid is going to be a lottery pick.’ I kind of saw that his game was unique for his size,” Pratt told The Undefeated.
4. Pratt Told His Son to be Selfish When He Made His 2016 Free Agent Decision
Durant faced a big decision during summer 2016. He was coming off a deep playoff run with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and had his choice of NBA teams to choose from as a free agent. Durant invited a select few to join him in The Hamptons as he heard pitches from NBA teams, and made a decision on his future.
Pratt was one of the people that joined him. While he did not direct his son where to go, Pratt made it clear he needed to make a decision that was in his own best interest.
“‘For once in your life be selfish and think about yourself. That’s the only thing I could tell him. And it’s hard for him to do that because that is not in his personality. But sometimes in your growth as a man you have to be selfish and make decisions that are based on him and his future family,” Pratt told The Undefeated.
Pratt woke up one morning and found out his son had taken his advice despite the difficult road that lied ahead. Pratt recounted the story to The Undefeated.
When he woke us up, I know he was confident in the decision that he made. He woke us all up in the morning saying he knew where he wanted to go. We were asleep. He told us he wanted us to go downstairs to talk to him. He said, ‘I want to be a Warrior.’
I said, ‘Let’s go if that’s what you want to do!’ I said, ‘You understand the backlash that’s going to happen?’ He said, ‘I’m ready for it.’ I was just happy that my son at 27 years old made a man decision. We knew that backlash was going to happen. But that’s what makes America so great. We know that everyone was going to have their view, and I’m fine with that.
Without mentioning his dad by name, Durant alluded to this thought process in an interview with The Vertical’s Michael Lee.
“I understood that this was like a fantasy – a real-world fantasy. It’s real for me, but it’s like a game for everybody else. You’re not affected at all by this. I’m the only one who had to go through this decision – me, my closest friends, family. But I had to go through this decision. For everybody else, it’s a topic of discussion. It’s just barbershop talk. Just [expletive] to text your friends about when you’re bored. It took me a while to really think about that,” Durant told The Vertical.
5. Durant & His Dad Have a Knack for Hitting Game Winners
Durant’s game-winning shot in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals has been replayed thousands of times. While not receiving the same amount of acclaim, The Washington Post detailed his father’s game winner during a pickup basketball game, just one day before his son nailed his three-pointer in the finals.
Both shots were pull up threes at the exact same spot. Durant’s form may be just a tad cleaner than his father, but it is still quite a coincidence the two shots came one day apart. Here’s a look at Durant’s game winner.
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Kevin Durant has a strong bond with his family including his mother, Wanda Durant, and father, Wayne Pratt. Learn more about the Durant family.
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