But it never hurts to grow that brand.
It means more sponsorship dollars. More businesses like Nike and Gatorade want to pay Durant millions to pub their products, and that helps the Thunder. Those are dollars that the franchise doesn't have dole out, and yet, they increase Durant's bottom line.
It's a win-win situation for both sides.
So is the ego boost that comes with international stardom. Granted, Durant is one of the most humble superstars that you'll find in sports, but the dude still has an ego. Every great athlete does. It doesn't hurt anything for him to feel the love wherever he goes.
Here's betting that's happening more and more these days.
He's appeared on magazine covers. He's been written about in newspapers around the world. He's been talked about by pundits from every corner of the globe. For a time Monday afternoon, Durant was even a trending worldwide topic on Twitter. That means he was among the 10 most twittered about topics at that point in the day.
Those are big-time boosts for a small-market star.
Over the years, players in Durant's position have fled to bigger markets for a variety of reasons. While the Thunder can control some of the variables that will influence their young superstar, the franchise can't turn him into a worldwide phenom.
Know what can help the process? Scoring a team-high 21.0 points a game and looking like a man among the boys at the world championships. That's the kind of thing that is adding more shine to his already brilliant star.
Good for Durant.
Even better for Oklahoma City.Know it: Kevin Durant