Kevin Durant has been a tough guy to figure out. Some times, most times, he’s quiet and humble – the kind of guy you can’t root against. Other times, he’s not afraid to stick up for himself and be completely honest about what he wants in the NBA. He’s also, according to reports, a little sensitive. Not in a bad way exactly, but maybe a little thin-skinned. He just wants the same respect afforded to LeBron James and Steph Curry.
So, what kind of guy is Durant?
“I think there’s a misconception out there that if you’re a good basketball player – or a good athlete in general – that you don’t have any sensitivity and that you can completely block out anything that’s going on,” NBA champion and Fox Sports Oklahoma and Sirius XM NBA Radio analyst Antonio Daniels said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Guys are sensitive. Guys have egos. You don’t get to the professional level without having some sort of ego. That’s the way it goes. To me, I have developed a completely different respect for Kevin Durant this year. In the past, I’ve always respected him as an athlete. Great player, great scorer, one of the top five players in the league. But this year, when I got an opportunity to get up close and personal with him – watch him get interviewed after every game, see how he handles himself – he is a man of righteousness and integrity.
“I love the way that he handles himself,” Daniels continued. “He handles himself and carries himself different than a lot of guys in the league. Throughout the course of this season, as much as the media has tried to bait him into discussing his free agency, he has not discussed it and not touched it once – because he understands that’s what’s best for this team. That’s what’s needed for this team to be successful. To watch him – he’s not a big, loud, boisterous guy when he’s interviewed. He says exactly what needs to be said without holding his tongue. Being in this position now, I can respect who he is as a young man.”
Daniels was asked if he thinks Durant will leave Oklahoma city after the season. Daniels didn’t want to answer the question, saying, “You’re going to have to ask him that,” but eventually he gave his take on the situation.
“As a free agent, there are two reasons you really leave,” Daniels said. “You leave for money and you leave for a better opportunity to win. Oklahoma City can pay Kevin Durant the most right now, and this is one of the top four or five teams in this league. So if you look at what LaMarcus Aldridge did, he left a good situation in Portland to come to San Antonio to win. David West left a good situation in Indiana to come to San Antonio to win. Those are really the two reasons that you leave. I’ll leave it at that.”