There's a scene in “Rocky”, a movie full of great scenes, where Rocky is working the punching bag and his trainer is trying to improve his balance.
Out of nowhere, two young women appear at sweaty Rocky's side asking for autographs.
Mickey, the trainer, gruffly runs them off.
He looks sternly at Rocky.
“Women weaken legs,” he says, emphasizing each word.
Which brings us to Kevin Durant.
The Thunder superstar is engaged, recently popping the question to WNBA player Monica Wright. Details are few about how he proposed. Ditto for when they might get married.
But soon, a day will come when KD, the leader of the boys in blue, the face of the franchise, the hope of the Thunder Nation, is a married man.
They say marriage changes a man, and if you believe Mickey, it ain't for the best.
But I'm not sure he's an expert.
So, I decided to ask someone who is. Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Oklahoma City, and she has seen behind the scenes of thousands of relationships.
Her take on how marriage changes men?
“I don't think men change a lot,” she said.
And that's not necessarily a good thing.
Lankard sees lots of men who return to their pre-marriage routine. If they played cards on Friday night before they got married, for example, they go back to playing cards on Friday after they get married.
Or in KD's case, maybe he goes back to international excursions to China or summer workouts with LeBron.
Hey, we all have our routines.
Thing is, the wife may not appreciate the husband trying to go on with life as though he's still a bachelor.
So, listen up KD. There are a few steps you can take to make this marriage thing work better.
Lankard suggests, among other things, that spouses make time for small talk every day, that they appreciate each other and express that appreciation, that they make memories and that they do activities for just the two of them. She says the activities don't have to be extravagant. Have a picnic. Watch a movie.
And in the case of the future Mr. and Mrs. Durant, Lankard believes they must be particularly mindful about communicating. Both have pro basketball careers that send them across the country and around the world — Wright has played internationally during the WNBA's offseason — and they will spend much of the year apart.
“I think they'll have to be intentional about keeping connected,” Lankard said.
Skype will be their friend.
But while basketball may keep them away from each other for extended periods, it can also bring them closer. They have known each other since high school, when both were standouts in the Washington, D.C., area. While he only spent a year at Texas, she had a great four-year career at Virginia. Now a fourth-year pro in the WNBA, she's a big-time contributor off the bench for Minnesota.
Pair her with Durant, one of the best two basketball players in the world, and you've instantly got one of the top power couples in the sports world.
Both Durant and Wright know what it takes to be a professional basketball player. Workouts. Practices. Weights. Film. Road trips. Home stands.
“They're more understanding of what's required,” Lankard said of spouses who have the same careers. “There's not as much, ‘I can't believe you're working 12 hours a day.'”
The bottom line, though, is that this marriage will take work. Every marriage does.
But Thunder fans everywhere should be pulling for this union to work, for this to be wedding bliss. Remember, a good marriage is good for Durant, and what's good for Durant is good for the Thunder.
I mean, he was getting serious with Wright this past season, and he had his best year as a pro.
Maybe, but the relationship sure didn't hurt his performance. No reason to think marriage will.
“His game shouldn't suffer,” Lankard said.
Marriage will change Durant — it changes everyone — but it might just be for the better.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.