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OKC Thunder: Will marriage change Kevin Durant?

COMMENTARY — The Thunder superstar is engaged, and an expert says he has some challenges ahead.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: July 10, 2013 at 9:30 am •  Published: July 10, 2013

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.

“Thunderstruck”, perhaps.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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