The partnership with Roc Nation Sports, though, now confirms a clear change of course for Durant, who previously had expressed little interest in his marketing and branding. Though he has raked in numerous national endorsements that have featured him in countless commercials and turned him into one of the NBA's most popular players, Durant had long maintained that global marketing simply wasn't important to him.
But in his first public comments since signing with Roc Nation Sports, Durant now says he joined Jay-Z's team to help advance just that.
“I was thinking about myself first and how I could be better off the court, because that comes with the game. I can't just overlook that,” Durant told The Oklahoman. “I've got to take care of that, and they have a great team that's going to help me.
“It was something that I was really interested in. It was an intriguing situation. They've done so well for their brand, and it was something that I thought could help. I'm looking forward to becoming the first basketball guy. I'm looking forward to all of the people they have over there that's going to work with me and handle the stuff off the court while I handle my basketball.”
Durant's desire for global marketing has evolved. But he still seems comfortable with who he is, a giant fish that's still growing in the same small pond.
“Of course you know what Jay-Z has done for himself. But he's elevated a lot of different people as well. So I figured it was a good move either way,” Durant said. “It couldn't hurt me either way so I'm glad I made the decision.”