I didn’t like Kevin Durant in college. I thought he was too small, too lanky, and too raw. I thought his game was great for college competition but was unpolished and would not translate to the NBA. I also thought he was arrogant. Today, I am willing to admit I was wrong on all accounts.
His game has gotten much better; and much more quickly than I could have imagined. He can cut to the basket, hit a mid-range jump shot, drive the lane, and hit the open guy with a pass. He is leading a very young and very talented Oklahoma City Thunder team into the 2009-2010 season with a lot of confidence. He is also very friendly and open to his fans (via Twitter).
The other day he had a “Q&A” session through his Tweets. Fans sent him a message and he would post his reply. I have no idea how many questions were sent to him or how many he was able to answer, but my feed was polluted with Kevin Durant trivia.
Fans asked him things like: what’s the weirdest thing someone asked you to autograph? (a baseball); what has been your best NBA moment? (a game-winning shot against the Atlanta Hawks his rookie season); who is your favorite rapper? (Jay-Z and Lil’ Wayne); what is your shoe size? (18); what position did you play in high school? (center); and when the Thunder make the playoffs, can you hook me up with three tickets? (of course).
I thought this was amazing. I got to know things about Kevin that I may have never been able to find out. News articles and interviews on television only go so far. Most athletes are so image-conscious that they never open up fully to the media. Twitter has allowed the athletes themselves to control the information the public receives. We, the fans, benefit from that more than anyone. Then I read this question and answer:
YOU WERE GONNA COME TO UCONN?!?!??!? HOLY SHIT!
Kevin would have been here my freshman year, when the Huskies were transitioning from that terrible George Mason loss in the Elite 8. He would have been here the one year we didn’t even make the God-forsaken NIT. He would have been on the court with A.J. Price, Craig Austrie, a raw and lanky Hasheem Thabeet, and Jeff “I’ll eat your children at half-time while smiling” Adrien. What a line-up that would have been!!! We wouldn’t have needed to put Dougie “No Brakes or Steering” Wiggins in the game at all. And, we could have brought along Jerome Dyson and Stanley Robinson slowly and develop their game so that they reach their immense potential.
You would have walked down the same streets as I do, ate in the same dining hall, “attended” the same classes, chased the same women. We would have been at the same parties, laughed at the same jokes, chant the same chants. We would have become best friends. But no, you went to Texas.
Could you at least send me some autographed merchandise or something?!?!?!