There can only be one
Just over 2 years ago, Kevin Durant infamously graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, along with a chilling assessment of his career up to that point.
I’ve been second my whole life. I was the second-best player in high school. I was the second pick in the draft. I’ve been second in the MVP voting three times. I came in second in the Finals. I’m tired of being second. I’m not going to settle for that. I’m done with it.
Now, he’s avenged his consistent 2nd place MVP finish by finally winning that award last year, and there’s nothing he can do about being thought of as second best in high school or the NBA Draft. But there’s still one category in which Durant doesn’t want to be considered 2nd best. Top NBA players.
While out in Vegas at USA Basketball’s minicamps, Durant spoke to a reporter about where he feels in regards to the NBA’s best, which–it’s not secret–include LeBron James, reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry, and rising superstars James Harden, Anthony Davis, and his Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook.
Despite Kevin Durant’s recent injury troubles, chances are he’d only say something like that if he knew he had it in him to go out there, starting this November. We’ll see.
There’s no way KD was high when he shot this, internet *side-eye*
Kevin Durant has somehow, in the midst of one of the most compelling NBA Finals in NBA history, managed to make headlines on several occasions. Last week, as he piled into his SUV, what looked like a bit of medical marijuana came tumbling out of the backseat, and it was quickly snatched up by a member of his entourage, but not before TMZ cameras got a hold of it.
This new bit of news comes on the night of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, thanks to a brand new Sonic commercial starring their biggest brand ambassador, KD. The commercial kicks off with Durant finding himself immerse in what looks like a high pressure in-game situation, and playing a tug-of-war with his conscience, which would much rather daydream about a Jolly Rancher-flavored Sonic delicacy than deliver a basket. Needless to say, his conscience takes over, and it’s one of the weirder athlete-related commercials you’ll ever see. It’s certainly way left of Durant’s other popular TV spot.
Watch the commercial above.
Kevin Durant may be enjoying the off-season a little more than others
Kevin Durant, one of the best players on the planet, has been sidelined for most of the past year with a foot injury, but he’s taken it in stride. He’s been extremely supportive of his teammates, and even when the Thunder fired Scott Brooks, the coach that’s practically raised Durant over the past 7 seasons, Durant continued to be engaged, and even attended new head coach Billy Donovan‘s introductory press conference.
Last night, Durant was out partying in Los Angeles, and upon leaving the club, summoned his car to pick him up. Before entering, something in a prescription bottle fell out, and while its contents weren’t absolutely conclusive, a paparazzo shouted out “uh oh, dropping the weed,” while Durant’s friend quickly motioned to pick up the bottle.
Hey, KD, no judgement. It’s Los Angeles for crying out loud. Feel better.
Durant’s responds to the firing of his coach of 7 seasons
When Scott Brooks was named the interim head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the early days of the 2008 season, Kevin Durant was a second year player, coming off a promising rookie season in which he was named the 2007-2008 Rookie of the Year.
Since then, Durant, who was soon joined by top tier NBA players Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka, would enjoy as much success as he could’ve hoped for, including consecutive 50-win seasons, multiple scoring titles, NBA All-Pro honors, and the 2013-2014 NBA MVP award. Everything but the Larry O’Brien trophy. So, it’s understandable why he posted this sentimental message about the firing of Brooks, who was relieved of his duties earlier today.
There are two interesting things of note embedded in Durant’s emotional note. First, this tidbit: “While I support our team’s decision 100%,” and second: “[I] look forward to the upcoming season and the future in OKC.” It’s a valiant effort by Durant to convey to the public that he’s loyal to the franchise not only now, but in the coming years. Of course, minds change, but don’t print those Wizards jerseys out just yet.
The Thunder make a huge decision for the future of their franchise
Despite leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to three Western Conference Finals appearances and the 2012 NBA Finals, head coach Scott Brooks has been fired, according to a statement made by the team’s general manager, Sam Presti, just moments ago.
After losing James Harden to the Houston Rockets following the 2012 season, the Thunder’s core of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka was expected to continue to contend for NBA titles for years to come. However, major injuries to both Durant and Westbrook during the last two playoff runs have left the Thunder unable to fully compete, and this year, they missed the playoffs entirely.
All week, there has been speculation that Brooks might not make it to next season, and two NCAA coaches–Florida’s Billy Donovan and UConn’s Kevin Ollie–were rumored to be front-runners for Brooks’ job, but Ollie released a statement today that he is fully committed to remaining Connecticut’s coach next season, opening the door for another viable candidate.
It’ll be interesting to see how this decision plays a role–if it plays one at all–in the major decision Kevin Durant has to make next summer, when he will be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
In the midst of Russell Westbrook’s career defining game, Charles Barkley lends KD some advice Continue reading Charles Barkley Has Some Twitter Advice For Kevin Durant
The fiery teammates are clearly all in for each other
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have taken turns dominating the court this season, but they’ve also gone back and forth in a less favorable category: the injury list. Durant began the season on the bench, with a Jones fracture in his foot, and Westbrook joined him just a fortnight into the season with a fractured hand. Durant returned and immediately lit it up, but has been repeatedly sidelined with soreness in said foot. Westbrook on the other hand, has spent considerably more time in action–enough to be ranked second in the league in scoring and third on most early MVP lists–but has gone down once again with a rather bizarre injury, one that can be explained in layman’s terms as “a dented face.”
Durant’s lack of playing time lately has given way to a bit more social media perusing on his part, and yesterday, he caught somebody jeering him about his teammates’ superb play this season.
A rather appropriate response, if you ask us. The Thunder will take the court tonight at 6:30 EST as they try to take down the Lakers in Cali without two of the NBA’s Top 5 players.
Last night was a bittersweet one for Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, who has burst into the MVP conversation with historic play in the month of February, as he continues to carry his team on his back in the absences of the Batman to his Robin, reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant. Despite beginning the game 0-8 from the field, Westbrook stormed back, and finished with a triple double–including 39 points on 38 shots–and just nearly missed a last second lay-up in overtime, which would’ve tied what was a contentious game, thanks to brilliant play from Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, who remained toe-to-toe with Westbrook until the final buzzer.
Before overtime, however, Westbrook got some much needed rest, and he dapped just about everyone on the bench on the way to his seat. Except Kevin Durant. Durant held his hand out, and after Westbrook blew past him, continued to hold it out, almost as if he believed that if he didn’t make it obvious that he was taking his hand back, no one would notice what just happened. Thankfully, Andre Roberson–who also swung and missed at a Westbrook handshake–was there to clean up the mess, and connected with Durant’s hand before things got even more awkward.
The funny part about all of this is, remember that time Westbrook looked as if he was ready to tear Jeremy Lamb‘s head off after Lamb missed Westbrook’s outstretched hand during a timeout? What happens during Thunder timeouts is the stuff of HBO documentaries.
Kevin Durant cleared some things up with Gentleman’s Quarterly
He’s one of the best players on the planet, and a soft-but-outspoken aggressive scorer who can do whatever he wants on the court. The only people who can stop him are himself, and Russell Westbrook, which is a story for another time, but Kevin Durant is on the new cover of GQ, and he’s got a few things to get off his chest.
Among them were the “The Real MVP” memes that made light of the biggest off-court moment of his career, his MVP acceptance speech, in which he thanked every one of his teammates individually, and broke down in tears when it came time to speak about the sacrifices his mother made for him and his brothers when they were younger. He addressed claims that he’s too nice, the media’s perception of him, but most interestingly, Durant talked about his failed engagement to Monica Wright, something he’s never publicly addressed.
I had a fiancée, but…I really didn’t know how to, like, love her, you know what I’m saying? We just went our separate ways. We was just hanging out, chilling. And I felt the energy. I felt, I need to do this right now. And I just did it. I was like…We’re engaged right now? We’re about to get married? So I was just like, cool! I love this girl. But I didn’t love her the right way.
To read the full feature, you can click here, or grab a copy of GQ at your nearest newsstand.