Ron Adams Assesses Kevin Durant: ‘What's Really Been Impressive to Me…'

CLEVELAND -- Kevin Durant has millions of fans around the globe, but none is more supportive, or is happier with what the superstar forward is accomplishing, than the sage on the Warriors bench.

That would be veteran assistant coach Ron Adams, who practically glowed on that day last July when Durant when introduced as the newest Warrior.

Eleven months later, during these NBA Finals, Adams is no less radiant. If anything, he's even happier.

Not for himself, but for Durant, whom Adams met as a 19-year-old second-year player in Oklahoma City, where Adams had become an assistant coach. Having provided background for the Warriors as they prepared to pursue Durant, Adams is uniquely qualified to measure the growth of the player and the man.

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"Kevin's been having a tremendous series -- but that's Kevin," Adams told after shootaround Friday at Quicken Loans Arena.

"But what's really been impressive to me -- and I'm not talking about his performance on the court, which has been great -- is how from Day 1 coming here, he worked hard at, and was so mindful about, fitting in. He's still being who he was, but he fit in and complemented the other guys. And it's not simple. His attitude has been really impressive the entire year."

Durant has, by any practical evaluation, been a seamless fit with a team built around Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. That's one of reasons why the Warriors enter Game 4 Friday night in position to become the first team in NBA history to post a 16-0 postseason.

It is during this postseason that Adams has noticed Durant's heightened concentration. It's evident even during workouts.

"More recently, his focus in locking into these playoffs has been really amazing," Adams said. "And I think he's affected other guys in the locker room in that regard.

"It's funny. We'll be doing a drill in practice, a running drill for example, and the guys will run by and we'll give them a high-five or something. Kevin will do that, too. But much of the time, he's so locked in, even in practice, that he's not even seeing it."

Durant's numbers through three games are lining up to be worthy of The Finals MVP award. He's averaging 34 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and 1.5 blocks per game.

He also made the biggest shot of the series, a pull-up 3-pointer with 45.3 seconds remaining that gave the Warriors their first lead of the fourth quarter, hushed a raucous pro-Cavaliers crowd and sent a smile creeping across the face of the usually laconic assistant.

"There's no better feeling," Adams said. "It's like pulling the plug on the mic."

It was last July 8 at Durant's introductory news conference in Oakland that he went out of his way take note of Adams' presence in the room.

"Ron Adams is the only reason I came here," Durant joked.

Adams smiled. Nearly a year after the reunion, he's still smiling. And so is Durant.

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