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OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content

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OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#1 » by Sherlock » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:13 pm

Great feature article on Durant in the WSJ Magazine. Lots of insight into his personality and thought process. Plus some Raptors content too.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/kevin-durants-new-headspace-11568119028

I've included a bunch of excerpts I found interesting. Long article -- hopefully I'm not sharing too much. Mods, please cut down if needed.

“Some days I hate the circus of the NBA,” he says. “Some days I hate that the players let the NBA business, the fame that comes with the business, alter their minds about the game. Sometimes I don’t like being around the executives and politics that come with it. I hate that.”


Producer Brian Grazer, a creative partner, says Durant is one of the most original, idiosyncratic minds you’re likely to meet in the world of sports. Grazer recalls a talk Durant gave at a Google retreat in Sicily. During the Q&A someone asked what made Durant so great. Coolly, Durant replied: “Paranoia.”

But all this is guesswork, and Durant hates the way people are forever guessing about his psyche, which is another reason he hates the NBA. So here’s another guess: Maybe he’s not changed, or not merely changed—maybe he’s also dead tired. He sounds tired, looks tired, with good reason. His 12-year NBA career has featured outsize doses of drama, scandal, injuries, gutting losses, fierce beefs, dramatic exits, emotional returns, burner accounts. Even his most devoted fans (Mom and Dad) say the ruptured Achilles and the yearlong layoff it will likely require might be a blessing.

In every sense of the word, the man needs to heal.



Durant says his decision-making process was as simple on the inside as it looked from the outside. Brooklyn was the right fit; he just knew. He didn’t even speak to the Nets before his decision, he says. He didn’t need a PowerPoint. He’s always felt big love as a visiting player at Barclays Center, he says, and he wondered what it might be like if he were on the home team. Plus, the Nets offered the opportunity to join his “best friend in the league,” Kyrie Irving.

Of course, Durant says, he was conflicted about leaving the Bay Area. “I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted,” he says. “But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there.… Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there. So me? ****, how you going to rehabilitate me? What you going to teach me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles.”

That he stood out, stood apart from the group, felt preordained.


But there was also this: From a strictly competitive, strategic standpoint, Durant had come to fear that Golden State had hit a ceiling.

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point,” he says. “We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play. We’ve got to throw teams off, because they’re smarter in that round of playoffs. So now I had to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create my points for me.” He wanted to go someplace where he’d be free to hone that sort of improvisational game throughout the regular season.

His tenure in the Bay Area was great, he says, but because of media speculation, fan anxiety, “it didn’t feel as great as it could have been.”


Durant has a Ph.D. in this phenomenon. When he left the Oklahoma City Thunder for Golden State, reaction was intense. Overnight he went from icon to traitor. The memory still pains him.

“People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for sale signs around my neighborhood,” he recalls. “People making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names.”

At his first game in Oklahoma City as a visitor—February 2017—fans yowled for blood and brandished cupcakes, because Durant was supposedly soft. “Such a venomous toxic feeling when I walked into that arena,” he says. “And just the organization, the trainers and equipment managers, those dudes is pissed off at me? Ain’t talking to me? I’m like, Yo, this is where we going with this? Because I left a team and went to play with another team?”

His mother recalls one particularly appalling piece of video: a Thunder fan firing bullets into a No. 35 jersey. Bullets—after she and Durant and half his extended family relocated to Oklahoma, after they embraced the community, after Durant gave a million dollars to tornado victims.

“I’ll never be attached to that city again because of that,” Durant says. “I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organization, but I don’t trust nobody there. That **** must have been fake, what they was doing. The organization, the GM, I ain’t talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left.”

Though fans in Toronto roared with pleasure and glee the moment he ruptured his Achilles, he doesn’t view that behavior in the same light. On the contrary, it tickled him. Torontonians knew he was playing the best basketball of his life. “They was terrified that I was on the floor,” he says, suppressing a smile. “You could feel it the second I walked out there.”

Does this same largesse extend to Toronto’s über booster, Drake, who trash-talked the Warriors and practically ran the floor on every fast break, thus irking half a continent? It does, it does. “That’s my brother. I view him as, like, blood.” If you get upset about how Drake roots for his hometown team, he adds, “You need to reevaluate yourself.”


Above all, Durant expresses himself through social media. Instagram is one of his main portals to the world. It’s an introvert’s utopia, he says, a place to engage with people from a safe distance. Never mind the grief it’s caused him in the past. (In recent years, at times using fake accounts, he’s clashed with online critics, including at least one who still had a curfew.) He checks his direct messages twice daily, and though they number in the hundreds, he methodically works his way through, chatting with all sorts of folks about all sorts of subjects. Recently he conducted a two-week-long dialogue with a total stranger, a young man who detailed his many struggles and mental woes, ad nauseam, all of which Durant found fascinating.

He’ll also talk shop with anyone. The other day a middle school student reached out. “She’s like, I started to play at the free throw line, but I’m not very comfortable there, so I don’t really know what to do when I get inside the zone. It was such a nice-ass question. She blew my mind.”

He often parachutes into young people’s comments, doles out praise, congratulates them on a great game, a big win, “just encouraging them, letting them know they’re nice, and keep going. That **** does a lot for me. That’s why I like the Gram. A lot of young grass-roots basketball players, I build relationships through Instagram, so when we see each other it’s love.”



Durant says he’s decided to wear No. 7 in Brooklyn because it stands for completion in the Bible. (God rested on the seventh day after creating Heaven and Earth.) Clearly the completion of his career is on his mind. In which case, what next?

Kids, he says, maybe.

How many?

He throws out numbers. Maybe five. Maybe one.

First he needs to find a woman who can handle this crazy life.

He used to think that wasn’t such a tall order. But, as with so many things, his thinking on that has evolved.

“I thought this life was pretty simple,” he says. “But it’s not as simple as I thought it was.”
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#2 » by HeadtopChunes » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:16 pm

I think that motion offense stuff is interesting

He did kind of struggle just stepping back and being part of the system at times

I think he just got tired of that and wanted to go back to being that iso star
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#3 » by Danny1616 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:18 pm

Dude needs to chill.

He makes it seem like he's doing something of biblical proportions and trying to sound philosophical about it...you're just a guy who is very good at putting a basketball into a basket.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#4 » by YogurtProducer » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:18 pm

I **** hate this guy lmao
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#5 » by Sherlock » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:18 pm

HeadtopChunes wrote:I think that motion offense stuff is interesting

He did kind of struggle just stepping back and being part of the system at times

I think he just got tired of that and wanted to go back to being that iso star


Definitely interesting.

He basically left OKC because he was tired of playing my turn, your turn iso ball and wanted to play more of a team game with GS. And now he wants to go to Brooklyn so he can get away from the team game and get better at the iso game again.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#6 » by Danny1616 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:20 pm

Sherlock wrote:
HeadtopChunes wrote:I think that motion offense stuff is interesting

He did kind of struggle just stepping back and being part of the system at times

I think he just got tired of that and wanted to go back to being that iso star


Definitely interesting.

He basically left OKC because he was tired of playing my turn, your turn iso ball and wanted to play more of a team game with GS. And now he wants to go to Brooklyn so he can get away from the team game and get better at the iso game again.


Yep.

He's insanely delusional, hypocritical, and insecure.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#7 » by Sherlock » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:27 pm

Danny1616 wrote:
Sherlock wrote:
HeadtopChunes wrote:I think that motion offense stuff is interesting

He did kind of struggle just stepping back and being part of the system at times

I think he just got tired of that and wanted to go back to being that iso star


Definitely interesting.

He basically left OKC because he was tired of playing my turn, your turn iso ball and wanted to play more of a team game with GS. And now he wants to go to Brooklyn so he can get away from the team game and get better at the iso game again.


Yep.

He's insanely delusional, hypocritical, and insecure.


Interesting. I walked away from this article feeling that he's just a flawed human being like the rest of us, who is trying to figure out the meaning of life.

Here's a part of the article I didn't quote originally.

Maybe it’s a function of his introversion. Maybe it’s his resting facial expression, which is that of a man who just found a parking ticket on his windshield. Whatever the reason, observers often think Durant is bummed, or numb, when in fact he’s just pleasantly idling in neutral. “People are always like, Are you happy? It’s like, Yo, what the f— does that mean right now?… That was the whole thing this year: Is KD happy where he is?”

Such a highly personal question, he complains. More, an unanswerable question. And whenever he tries to answer it, earnestly, honestly, no one’s satisfied, which makes them unhappy, which then makes him unhappy.

Indeed, right after he announced his deal with Brooklyn, a typical story dominated one or two news cycles. Warriors execs, behind the scenes, supposedly saying Durant wasn’t happy enough after winning two titles: Nothing’s good enough for this guy.

False, Durant says. “It’s very rare in our lives when we envision and picture something and it comes together the perfect way you envision it. [Winning a title] was the only time in my life that happened, and that summer was the most exhilarating time. Every day I woke up I just felt so good about myself, so good about life.… That was a defining moment in my life—not just my basketball life.”

This is the one thing that doesn’t change about Durant. He still tries earnestly, honestly to correct the record, give real answers, put the truth out there. He doesn’t measure his words, doesn’t care if he says it wrong or contradicts himself. (Case in point: He’s spoken forgivingly about Oklahoma City in the past. But he’s not feeling that right now, and he’s not the least bit concerned if the paradox throws you.)

What matters more than continuity, more than happiness, more than titles—more than anything—is the search. Durant is one of the few NBA players who speaks of the game as a vehicle for gaining wisdom.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#8 » by OakleyDokely » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:29 pm

Hopefully Masai can re-tool the team in time for Durant's return. Wouldn't mind a few TOR/BRK playoff series'
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#9 » by WuTang_OG » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:36 pm

I've lost a lot of respect for this guy for joining a championship, 72 win, team - which was also the team that beat him coming back from 3-1.

I also lost respect for him for when he had his burner accounts.

Dude is one of the best 5 players in the world and is worried about what fans say? Seems silly.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#10 » by Oakville_Raptor » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:40 pm

Kevin Durant is a loser and I hope his career is never the same again.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#11 » by ruckus » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:59 pm

Sherlock wrote:
HeadtopChunes wrote:I think that motion offense stuff is interesting

He did kind of struggle just stepping back and being part of the system at times

I think he just got tired of that and wanted to go back to being that iso star


Definitely interesting.

He basically left OKC because he was tired of playing my turn, your turn iso ball and wanted to play more of a team game with GS. And now he wants to go to Brooklyn so he can get away from the team game and get better at the iso game again.


There's a balance between ball movement and iso play that I feel hasn't yet been found. OKC obv with Russ and KD was iso heavy. Even the Raps struggled with finding a balance between Kawhi's offense and the team's offense.

KD is right though. Motion offense works up to a point in the playoffs. The farther along you go, the more you need guys that can break down a defence and get buckets. It's difficult to find that fine balance of sharing the ball and scoring the ball.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#12 » by Kevin Willis » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:10 pm

Sherlock wrote:
HeadtopChunes wrote:I think that motion offense stuff is interesting

He did kind of struggle just stepping back and being part of the system at times

I think he just got tired of that and wanted to go back to being that iso star


Definitely interesting.

He basically left OKC because he was tired of playing my turn, your turn iso ball and wanted to play more of a team game with GS. And now he wants to go to Brooklyn so he can get away from the team game and get better at the iso game again.


He needed to stay away from the extremes. He would do great in the offense we ran last year for Kawhi. A constant mix of both. If Kawhi wanted to take over he could. Ideally he shares. I think the Green blow up also speaks to this. Crunch time he wants to bring up the ball. He's thinking why, that's what I do. He doesn't want too many cooks in the kitchen but just enough cooks that if he can't cook, the meals can still be served.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#13 » by Inklink » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:24 pm

How can someone so rich, talented and successful be so sensitive? Oof.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#14 » by DonDoolie » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:48 pm

Some of you are beyond pathetic individuals. So he can’t have normal human emotions ? It’s wrong for him to express himself ? Get the **** out of here. Ya’ll take this **** way too serious go outside for once.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#15 » by Jenike » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:56 pm

You guys know he is just a person. You guys sound like you've never made a mistake or did something you wish you could change, or made a decision that others didn't agree with.

Regardless, I find his opinions interesting. They may not be the same as mine, and he definitely lives a different lifestyle than me, but he isn't a villain. He hasn't hurt anyone or done anything illegal. People need to relax and get some perspective.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#16 » by Kevin Willis » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:06 pm

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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#17 » by Danny1616 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:10 pm

Jenike wrote:You guys know he is just a person. You guys sound like you've never made a mistake or did something you wish you could change, or made a decision that others didn't agree with.

Regardless, I find his opinions interesting. They may not be the same as mine, and he definitely lives a different lifestyle than me, but he isn't a villain. He hasn't hurt anyone or done anything illegal. People need to relax and get some perspective.


No one is calling him a villain...just an extremely delusional and insecure person.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#18 » by vbmeer » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:21 pm

I hope Kevin Durant has a healthy and good life.

People treat him like he cheated the sport or hurt other people in real life like he's Jon Jones.

He's just a human being who interprets and makes decisions in the context of the sport of basketball that causes people to seethe. If he ever decided to play for a particular team, that particular fan base would immediately embrace him since he'd be "their guy". He shouldn't play for the fickleness of strangers, but for his own circle.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#19 » by SFour » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:29 pm

KD's rings are worthless and he knows it deep down, that's why he left. You can't join a 73 win team and act like you took the hard road.
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Re: OT: WSJ profile on Durant - Some Raps content 

Post#20 » by PoundTown » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:33 pm

People can feel however they want, but dude is the insecure type who can't look himself in the mirror. He won a championship, yes two, but he never did what we just saw Kawhi do, what Lebron did against the Warriors, what Dwayne Wade did first championship, or what Dirk did. He will never be as great as those guys. He put himself in a situation where it was very hard to lose. I do, to some extent, understand why he had a hard time playing with Westbrook. If Westbrook could have tried to get KD going more than get himself going, maybe Durant gets himself one real one.

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