In September, I told you Kevin Durant was scheduled to be featured in an issue of ESPN The Magazine this month.
I also reported that Durant would receive the cover.
As it turned out, only the first of those two things actually happened.
And it might just have been because Tim Tebow was announced as the Denver Broncos starting quarterback on Oct. 11. Now, instead of your favorite two-time NBA scoring champ garnering a cover story, Thunder fans get more Tebow stuffed down their throats.
The mag’s theme this issue is “Plan B.” It makes some sense. Tebow is Plan B in Denver, Durant’s summer of pickup ball was Plan B to the NBA season and so on and so forth. The only problem was Durant ironically became the mag’s Plan B when the more popular Tebow got promoted.
But there are two good things to take from this development: 1) Durant still has a prominent piece in the issue, and 2) if you’re a subscriber like me, this issue is guaranteed to be better than two of the more recent issues — the body issue (which I have no use for) and the Boston love affair issue (How long until Tom Brady retires so the Pats can stink again and we don’t have to hear about ‘em?)
Do yourselves a favor and read Allison Glock’s story on Durant. Much of it might not be anything new to die-hard fans who have watched Durant up close for the past four seasons. Still, Glock does a terrific job of offering you a glimpse into Durant’s character, his humble nature and what it is about him that make some consider him to be “boring” and void of personality.
A few quick snippets:
A DOZEN THINGS YOU PROBABLY don’t know about Kevin Durant:
He has never been in love.
He has a music production studio in his house.
He has been known to rap.
His back tattoo took eight hours.
It isn’t finished.
His inner voice is often “just a buzzing noise.”
He used to sleep in church.
He has no regrets (not even missing the prom).
“People think I’m boring,” Durant says, his voice soft. “I hear, ‘You don’t have a personality.’ Or I’m too nonchalant.” He shrugs. “I can’t focus on what people think.”
“I felt like I was just being me,” he says, swallowing a fried cheese stick. His pickup games were not, he stresses, about PR, nor were they about staying in the lockout limelight. “I was actually surprised by the attention it got,” he says with some chagrin. “I wasn’t doing it to get noticed.”
Also, be sure to check out the accompanying video of Durant discussing the lockout, his work ethic and his future plans. The best part of the below 2 1/2 minute video is a subtle moment during an exchange when, at the 45-second mark, the reporter asks Durant about his “59-point” game at Rucker Park. What’s great about it is there is no doubt Durant knows he dropped 66. But when he casually lets the error slide, it becomes a perfect example of what the story is all about in the first place: Durant’s humbleness.
Oh, and the trick shot at the 2:12 mark ain’t bad either.