Never Forget How Badly Kevin Durant Wanted to Be a North Carolina Tar Heel

Kevin Durant was nearly a UNC Tar Heel
Kevin Durant was nearly a UNC Tar Heel /

Of all the one-and-done careers in the mid-2000s, Kevin Durant's may have been the strangest.

His singular season as a Texas Longhorn in 2006-07 was uniquely dominant, but didn't result in any championship hardware -- predictably, KD's one-man show went home in the second round as a four-seed, upset by USC in a 19-point drubbing.

Things could've been very different, though, if Durant hadn't wanted to be "the man" quite so definitively. As KD himself tells it, he desperately wanted to follow his good friend Ty Lawson to UNC, and nearly did it.

"We went to Oak Hill [Academy] together. Roommates at Oak Hill. That was my boy," Durant said of Lawson.

In fact, KD was in the building for Marvin Williams' put-back against Duke at the Smith Center, and his Carolina fervor was never higher than at that exact moment. Eventually, though, when things settled down, he realized that team was too stacked for him to stand out, even at the margins. Instead of choosing to disappear (as if that would ever happen) behind Danny Green and Psycho T, Durant opted to head to Austin. His possible spot in the Class of '06 went to Brandan Wright instead.

Might the Heels have won an additional title with Durant in the fray? It certainly seems possible. And maybe that would've swayed KD clone Brandon Ingram a decade later, too.