Prayers and well-wishes to everyone affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. According to news sources, this is one of the worst tornado occurrences in history. Thankfully, the death toll is less than many other storms past … but any loss of life (including that of animals) is such a tragic thing.
Oklahoma Thunder star Kevin Durant (my fav player behind the illustrious Christopher Wesson Bosh) has agreed to donate 1 million dollars to relief efforts. That is awesome and I’m so happy he’s doing that — I’m also not surprised.
When I saw Durant’s announcement it got me thinking about his image and the whole concept of the “nice guy.” What does that mean? How fully can we understand an athlete who is burdened with that tag in part because of his own statements?
In a nutshell, I think of folks who are described as nice as being boring and having nothing else to offer up for a narrative. No intellectual curiosity of note, no tales of wild unruly nights to share, no particular physical gifts or markings, no sense of humor to speak of etc etc. In the dating world, when a guy is described as nice he might as well be a serial killer because I’ve no interest in someone unworthy of better description.
But KD doesn’t really fit that mold. I think at first he provided a nice contrast to those extremely weird and very likely pathologically disturbed people who hated Lebron James. And in this “everyone-must-have-a-brand” economy we live in the media married him to this narrative. I think on some level Durant understands that in this media environment you’re either the good guy or the bad guy and he chose to help pigeon hole himself as a dutifully humble big kid lest he become the giant selfish monster those crazies I described earlier pegged Lebron James as. Durant’s humble act is as much a product of being raised right as it is a necessity in avoiding the contrived wild-eyed ire of the Skip Baylesses of the world.
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