Kevin Durant has promoted his image as the clean-cut guy who just loves the game. Nothing is ever that simple or clean — you don’t get to be the second best player on the planet without some ego (and he’s got plenty of ink on his body).
But there is some truth to the image.
I wasn’t expecting anybody else to be there last Friday around lunchtime when I went in to shoot baskets, so you can imagine my surprise to find this guy, casually playing with eight of his friends:
There Kevin Durant was, the morning after dropping 28 points in a late game against the Clippers, playing half-court ball with his buddies (each of them big enough to discomfort somebody sitting next to them on an airplane), talking noise and completely disregarding the “NO DUNKING ALLOWED” sign pasted to the window of the gym. The Y employee at the desk made me promise not to bother him, so I checked out a ball and headed to the other end of the court to practice corner threes and otherwise pretend like one of the two greatest basketball players on the planet wasn’t at the other end performing feats of scoring magic that I normally can’t afford to watch up close.
First off — how cool would that be? To just go to the gym and get up some shots in an empty room (something I try to do once a week at my gym) and to stumble into Kevin Durant balling at the other end. Just as a fan of the game that would be awesome.
People who know Durant will tell you he is a straight up good guy. I always take that with a grain of salt because I’ve been told some real a$&@#*! players were good guys by agents/team officials.
But people I trust speak well of him. This plays right into the image he is trying to sell.