Culture of Hoops

Kevin Durant: The Hardest NBA Player To Hate

Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder small forward, is a superstar among his peers. However, the way he conducts himself on the basketball court, and especially off of it, wouldn’t give you any clue that he’s bought into any entitlement or feelings of being a special kind of player. Durant just balls and makes buckets. Nothing else seems to phase him. Nothing.

Durantula recently did an interview and spoke about various things that just make you want to hug the guy (or at least fist-bump), tussle his imaginary hair and give him a soft playful punch on the chin, or scream in his face, “Why can’t I hate you?!?! Why? Why? WHY?!?!?!” Below are a few excerpts on why you need to steer every youngster that loves the NBA that you know towards becoming a Kevin Durant fan.

“I just can’t wait to be back in the gym with the guys,” Durant said. “I miss the guys, I miss the coaches. I miss my teammates. I just can’t wait to get started. I’m going to take a few more days off then just get ready to try to have a good year.”

What an excellent teammate and an exceptional player for an organization. Durant throws love to his teammates and coaches and modestly says he’s going to try and have a “good” year. The Thunder are incredibly lucky that their best player is also their most humble because he sets the tone for everyone else.

“I just always (try to) get better on every aspect of my game,” Durant said. “Of course there are certain areas that I need more than others. I have to continue to just keep improving every part of my game to become the best player I can be.”

It’s refreshing to hear a player admit that he has multiple flaws and that he recognizes them and will work on getting better. I remember watching Magic Johnson doing an interview a long time ago where he said that every summer he’d work on one thing to master because Larry Bird was doing the same thing. Recently, LeBron James worked on improving his post-up game and look what happened… RING! Superstars put in work!

“Perry and I got close over the last few months after we drafted him,” Durant said. “I was happy that he reached a goal, a dream that he had been wanting for a long time…We have a good relationship and I’m looking forward to taking him under my wing and also learning a lot with him as well. I’m just trying to help him become the best and I’m sure he’s going to try to help me become the best as well. It’s going to be a fun relationship.”

Here, Durantula is talking about super-talented rookie, Perry Jones III. PJIII has incredible basketball gifts, but because of a perception that he doesn’t care about basketball and/or that he’s lazy and wasting his talents, he fell to the tail-end of the first round in this past NBA Draft. It’s incredible to me that Durant thinks a rookie can help him become the best he can be. Sure, both are young, but Durant has accomplished so much already, including now, a mentor at 23-years-old. Perry Jones III is lucky to have been drafted by the Thunder.

And, we’re all lucky to have a player like Kevin Durant that we can try to hate, but just can’t.

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