In today’s paper, I wrote about the kindness of Kevin Durant.
One example I had to leave out of the piece was a personal experience. News stories should never be about the reporter, therefore my first-hand account couldn’t be included. But it’s one worth sharing. It’s another tale of how Durant is genuinely caring and considerate of others.
Back in September, my wife, Courtney, and I were returning from a weekend trip to New York. As we walked from the gate toward the exit, we saw Durant, James Harden and Eric Maynor. They were also making their way toward the exit inside the terminal at Will Rogers World Airport. The three were coming back from the final days of their vacation in Washington, D.C. and about to prepare for the start of training camp.
When we got to the baggage claim area, I told Courtney I wanted to congratulate Durant on his gold medal and MVP-winning performance at the World Championship in Turkey. It was the first time I had seen him since his youth basketball camp in Oklahoma City in late June.
After initial shock and a few cracks about running into me at the airport, Durant accepted my congratulations. Not wanting to take up too much of Durant’s time, seeing as how I see him every day for seven months out of the year, I proceeded to walk over to Harden and Maynor, as well as one of Durant’s good friends, to say hello. Again, nothing major. Just a quick ‘what’s up?’
But as I turned to head back to Courtney, I saw Durant standing next to her. As I was walking back, he was extended his hand and a warm smile. Towering over my wife, Durant had introduced himself with a simple, ‘Hi, I’m Kevin.’
As if my wife didn’t know.
But it stood out in Courtney’s mind and in mine. It wasn’t something Durant had to do. No one had asked him to meet someone. He just did it.
As I did the reporting for today’s story, I mentioned that moment to Durant as one of the many occasions that I’ve seen him display a high degree of kindness. It was still fresh in his mind. He told me he remembered that I was getting married in the off-season and wanted to make sure he spoke to my wife.
“That’s just how I am,” Durant said. “I don’t like to be the guy that sees somebody I know and goes over and just talks to that one person and not the other. I think it’s a must that you got to introduce yourself and keep it polite with everybody. That’s how I am.”