Kevin Durant speaks plainly and honestly–just look at his surprisingly touching MVP acceptance speech last year. With Durant there’s little of that manufactured veneer you get (and understand) with many athletes. Look, these guys get asked the same questions over and over–and they have to smile and say innocuous things like “we just worked harder for position in the second half” and “we just kept playing hard.” But every once in a while they get to say something they believe. That’s what happened when Kevin Durant was asked about the rumor that the Lakers couldn’t land a big time free agent this summer because superstars didn’t want to play with all-universe Lakers forward Kobe Bryant.
After using a popular term to describe that speculation–something like balderdash!–Durant explained how preposterous the notion was. “I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level,” Durant told USA Today. I’d want to play with a guy like that every day. [Kobe] may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff.” Of course Durant gets to “love that type of stuff” from a distance–he’s not Jeremy Lin or Smush Parker. And it does Durant and his valuable image no good to disparage Bryant. First of all Durant’s Thunder still has to compete against Bryant. It sure would be fun to watch him play with Kobe Bryant. It’ll never happen, but Durant’s not the only one who would love it.