August 26, 2014

Kevin Durant is “Doing Things the Right Way”

In Cleveland, it is a rarity of epic proportions for a visiting team, player or fan to get applause from those in attendance.

Shaquille O’Neal received some applause during his introduction on Cavaliers opening night.   Bernie Kosar’s Dallas Cowboys jersey may have sold more units in Cleveland than it did in Dallas. Omar Vizquel could run for mayor, not campaign, and still win in a landslide.  If Zydrunas Ilgauskas was in a random Clevelander’s home, he would be told to just lock the door as he leaves.

But all of the abovementioned players actually played games in the city of Cleveland, for a Cleveland team.  On Sunday afternoon, prior to the Cavaliers getting drubbed by 20 points at the hands of Oklahoma City, All-World forward Kevin Durant was greeted with a warm reception which caught the star player a bit off guard. 

“I was [surprised], I was, it was pretty cool,” Durant told WFNY’s Brendan Bowers postgame.  “I really appreciate it, and I just gotta keep doing things the right way, I guess.”

Naturally, Durant would not delve into what “right” is, but credit Cavalier fans for understanding what a player of Durant’s makeup means to the game despite being the NBA’s leading scorer (28.0 points per game) and – you know – playing for the other team.  It can be assumed that “doing things right” falls somewhere between signing a contract extension with a small-market team, announcing it on Twitter, and calling Chris Bosh a “fake tough guy.”  Not speaking in third person may also help his case.

The 22-year old Durant had some appreciation of his own as he spoke highly of the fans who came out on a Sunday afternoon despite the Cavaliers being a 12-win team and having the worst record in the NBA.

“I was still shocked when they called out the starting five and it was packed,” said Durant of the fans at Quicken Loans Arena. “Throughout most of the game it was packed, so the fans still come out and support. 

“They still support the team, and I still enjoy coming here and playing,” he continued.  “And that team over there has been playing hard ever since the beginning of the season, so they’re gonna turn it around.”

This past weekend, Brendan waxed methodical on the process through which the Thunder have found themselves as perennial contenders.  While finding a player of the on- and off-court quality of Durant will be tough, the Cavaliers should have plenty of chances over the next three-to-four years.

Durant would finish Sunday’s game with 19 points, three rebounds, a steal and a block  in only 29 minutes of play. He has only played less than 30 minutes twice since the calendar turned 2011, so it could be assumed that the MVP hopeful appreciated the rest just as much as he did the applause.

For a video of the Durant postgame interview, catch it over at Stepien Rules.  Many thanks to Kevin Durant as well as Brendan, both doing the right things.

  • http://gooddoctorzeus.blogspot.com DocZeus

    I’m still skeptical about the lasting endurance of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Basically, you are indentured to the team that drafted you for the first seven years. We’ll see what happens in three years when the Lakers are calling and Durant and/or Westbrook is looking to expand their “brand.”

  • http://www.twitter.com/clevstrikesback Nick Paparodis

    Has less to do with money and more with competing in todays NBA. The only way Durant or Westbrook leave the Thunder is if they start counting their pennies. Those guys can rule the West for years after Kobe and Duncan retire. But, if the Thunder make the mistake of cutting salary rather than making those guys happy they’ll leave. Right now they’re already on the best team in the West in terms of future potential so why would they leave?

  • Chris

    And this just proves that Cleveland only has it out for black free agents… wait… what?

  • mike

    like someone else mentioned, i am waiting to declare Durant doing things the right way or committed to OKC until he goes through the unrestricted free agent process. lebron and bosh also signed extensions with their first team, since they couldnt really leave anyways. unless the NBA has some sort of franchise tag in place by the time KD is a free agent, i would expect him to leave for NYC, LA, etc.

  • Roosevelt

    This whole stupidity is based on the fans’ perception of athletes as characters in some kind of media driven story. These people are just people, people. Periodically, Durant wakes up on the wrong side of bed, Lebron wakes up on the right side of bed. 98% of the time, they are as good, kind, and mature as the W-L column indicates. Now, Lebron screwed us over, and Durant still plays in OKC, so KD is the humble down-home hero. One day, he’ll do something stupid, during a slump, and he’ll be a bad guy compared to the next media created basketball saint.

  • buckeyeCIC

    Good show by the fans in attendance!

  • Charles

    To those waiting to see what KD does as a UFA…

    He signed a 5 year extension (max allowed) AND waived the player option for the 5th year. That is certainly a different approach than any other player of that caliber has taken under the current CBA. The kid is for real.

  • Athanasios

    I remember, a few years back, the Cavs routing the Wolves in Minnesota. LeBron had a huge game and received a standing ovation from the Minnesota crowd–I remember him waving to the crowd with gratitude. Fast-forward to this season and LeBron decided to give his two-cents about contraction in the NBA. Which team did he bring up specifically? Yes–the Timberwolves. Here’s to Durant learning what not to do from LeBron.