This Durant guy happens to be one of my favorite NBA players. Watching him expand his game and shoulders to encompass new roles – OKC team leader and now the face of Team USA in the FIBA World Championship – has been refreshing because there’s a humbleness about him that’s unapparent in other star athletes.
And on two occasions now, I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on press rounds where Durant patiently fielded questions. The first thing you notice about him is he’s very reserved, almost uncomfortable with the limelight but understanding that champions and chiefs don’t shy away from the focus when it’s their turn. At a WBF media session, Nick @ HardKnockTV filmed this clip as I sat beside him and you could see Durant light up when the talks switched to music, a perkiness emerging in his voice. And before that Friday nights intersquad scrimmage @ Radio City, he damn sure did the The Dougie during warm-ups.
Below, there’s a scan from SLAM’s World Hoops 2010 issue, which pictures Nick and myself standing side-by-side before hitting the court for the sneaker wear-test. This guy is pretty much my PNC when we hit these events. We’re almost exclusively music while the rest of the media brothers are more fashion and sports, so the two of us can hold rap debates while en route to events and at dinners. To my right, there’s the previously mentioned French dude in white glasses who could ball as well as a lot of other guys you probably know by their pens and words, not their faces. I realize most of you haven’t met me yet or noticed my face online anywhere, so there you go. I’m very stealth in front of cameras, making appearances rare so you should prolly go pick up that issue of SLAM.