While watching Monday night’s game between the Thunder and the Spurs, I had a thought that was very unlike the thoughts I usually have. I was watching the Thunder head into the locker room after getting it handed to them in the first half, and I actually had a cohesive moment of clarity where I expressed sympathy for someone who is crazy stupid rich.
I feel kind of bad for Kevin Durant.
Now before you think that I’ve quit SBM to head to my new gig blogging about my feelings over at lifetimemovienetwork.com, hear me out for second. Kevin Durant does everything that we can expect an athlete to do. He plays with a freakishly elevated level of consistency compared to the rest of his peers. He’s polite, smart, and well spoken. He’s an impeccable dresser and almost never gets technical fouls although he did on the evening I am writing this. All of these things add up to the fact that Durant is one of the most likable guys in all of sports. He’s the kind of guy that you could bring over to your grandparents’ house, unless of course your grandfather was Donald Sterling. Off the court stuff set aside, he’s a beast at playing basketball. He plays the game with respect and dignity. And as much as it kills me to say it, I don’t ever think that he’ll win a championship.
Several years back it was Kobe’s league, but as time rolled on that torch was passed to LeBron James who finally learned how to finish the job. All the while, Kevin Durant has watched this happen without receiving a championship ring. It seems as if he’s winning scoring titles and MVPs left and right, and even though he’s humble about it and acts like it’s a huge deal in interviews you just know he doesn’t care.
He’s given it everything he’s got, and he still woke up to a newspaper in his hometown bearing his likeness under large print that said “Mr. Unreliable”. Keep in mind, this is the guy who got drafted after NBA alternate universe first ballot Hall of Famer Greg Oden.
This is the guy who essentially got drafted second because structurally he wasn’t the bigger guy. He got drafted to a recently migrated franchise in a town that is hardly Malibu, and still was super grateful about it. He built what was essentially an entire franchise that is guaranteed to go deep in the playoffs every year. I can’t envision any scenario over the next five years where that won’t happen.
And it’s all because of Durant. When rumors were swirling around town last year that they might have to move Westbrook because he was a bit of a loose cannon, removing Durant as a piece of the puzzle wasn’t even brought up. He’s a hard-working guy who in my opinion does not get anywhere near the respect he deserves.
And he’ll likely never win a ring. That’s crazy. This guy must hate Robert Horry’s fucking guts.
Although I usually don’t agree with almost anything this no-talent gasbag says, I think that Bill Plaschke from the Los Angeles Times had a point a couple of weeks back when he was asked on the Jay Mohr show who “America’s Team” was now and he answered by saying it was the Thunder. They are likeable, fun loving, good time guys and just about anybody can root for them. I’m a Bulls fan as heart, but if you asked me who my second favorite team was I would be a liar if I didn’t say it was Oklahoma City. Plus, rooting against the Spurs is probably included in the Bill of Rights somewhere. And with people still frosty about LeBron over his whole “decision” debacle, it’s a small wonder why Kevin Durant isn’t one of the most popular sports figures in the entire world.
As I’m typing this, the Thunder are down 11 in the fourth quarter of a game that they will eventually lose. The first thing that pops into my head is of course the injury to Ibaka, whose 15 points and 8.8 rebounds a game would be the difference in the one. But then I remember that for some reason, this sounds familiar. Look at what happened last year with Westbrook. It seems like every time that Durant is in position to take it to the house, somebody puts up a wall for him to run into or a speed bump for him to trip over. It’s unreal. This guy must have been a carpenter that only built abortion clinics in a past life. What has he done to deserve this?
Okay, back to reality – he is still a multi-millionaire and always will be. So I suppose it’s not the end of the world, but can everybody see my point here? It kills me to see this kid get so close after putting forth so much effort to come up short. With Lebron not ready to retire anytime soon, Durant probably won’t win one as long as the name “James” isn’t on the back of a Lakers jersey. And that kind of bums me out a little bit, because I want to see him win more than any other athlete currently playing one of the four major American sports.