In February 2009, the KD 1 was officially released to the public. Unlike the other Nike signature shoes at the time, Durant’s shoes were priced at just $88 to draw in consumers who may not be as familiar with the second-year forward. The sneaker featured the same synthetic leather-based upper as other shoes at the time, as well as a traditional Zoom Air unit in the forefoot for extra responsiveness. A major plus on the sneaker was the XDR outsole, which is “extra durable” to withstand outdoor courts in addition to indoor hardwood.
Kevin also did his thing during the Rising Stars game in the KD 1, dropping 46 points on his way to being the game’s MVP.
As noted in the video, KD’s talents even caught the eye of LeBron James. While Durant has had mutual respect for the King, this would be a precursor of sorts for the rivalry between two of the best players of this generation. Durant would have one of the first big-time duals with LeBron the next season, while still rocking the KD 1.
During this 2008-09 season, however, the team was just too young to succeed as the Oklahoma City Thunder finished the season with just 23 wins. Durant did finish the season averaging 25 points a game, while also showcasing his shooting skills for the first time by upping his 3-point shooting from 28% his rookie season to 42% during this second year. The future was looking bright though with Durant, and a rookie Russell Westbrook developing together for seasons to come.