They finished one and two in the MVP voting last season. They finished one and two in scoring. They’re two of the game’s biggest stars, captains of their teams and the faces of their franchises. Yet, I don’t know if Kevin Durant and LeBron James could really be much more different.
No lights. No cameras. No fanfare. Just a simple, humble announcement and a thank you. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the way LeBron is going about this, but there’s certainly something refreshing in the way KD did.
I even love the fact that Durant had a typo in his tweet. It was genuine and we know it came from him. Some PR specialist didn’t type that for him. He wrote it himself, and wrote it from the heart. Later, Durant followed up with this tweet :
First time i cried n a while..Seat Pleasant we #outchea , RIp Chucky, we doin wat we dreamed about..i swear i love all my bros!! yessir!!!
Seat Pleasant, Md. is his hometown. Chucky is for his AAU coach Charles Craig who was killed at the age of 35, which is the reason KD wears No. 35. Talk about keeping it all in perspective.
And not only that, but KD pledged his commitment to the Thunder by not insisting on a fourth-year opt-out clause. Most players take the opt-out. Heck, that’s what LeBron is using right now to play this free agency game. But Durant felt compelled to show loyalty to the Thunder because they showed it to him when they arrived on his door a minute after the negotiation period began.
Read that again. Durant chose not to put a clause in his contract that would likely have made him more money down the road, because he wanted to show appreciation to his franchise. Are we still talking about professional sports here? I mean, this is almost unprecedented. But that’s the thing, KD is different .
This is the guy that chose Nike over Adidas even though Adidas offered more money because he’d always worn Nike’s growing up and he said they just fit better. We’re talking about a guy that used to work the scorer’s table at UT during intramural games . We’re talking about a guy that attends his team’s draft in New York City just to show support. We talking about a guy that watches from the bench at summer league. Summer. League. Yesterday, OKC capped a 10-2 run to take the lead against Charlotte. The first off the bench giving high fives? Kevin Durant. We're talking about that kind of guy.
I just can’t help but find it slightly ironic that on a day LeBron tries to grab everyone’s attention with a one-hour television special , Kevin Durant completely upstages him by humbly announcing his extension with a typo on Twitter. Similar ability, different in personality I suppose.
You can try your darndest to win folks over with brilliant marketing and PR, but most times, genuine just wins out. KD didn’t expect this kind of reaction. It’s just who he is. And here’s to hoping, for the sake of sports fans everywhere that are tired of egos and greed, that KD never changes.