I don’t get Kevin Durant.
Back in the day, when he was playing for Oklahoma City, I thought I did.
He was the good kid.
And “kid” seemed to be the right word, too. He’d played one season at Texas, earning Big 12 player of the year, one in Seattle because Portland chose Greg Oden No. 1, not him, in the 2007 draft and was still just 20 when the Thunder arrived in OKC.
He looked and sounded squeaky clean. Soft spoken, great player. Loved his mother, who sat courtside each night.
Eventually, he took up residence downtown, blocks from the arena. It seemed like he’d be with the Thunder forever.
Named MVP, he gave a speech that left everybody crying. He never appeared entitled. He didn’t seem to need villains, real or imagined, to put himself in the best-player-on-the-planet debate.
He just played.
Played like a dream.
Then he split.
He split for the team, Golden State, that knocked his team out. The Warriors won the last two of the seven-game 2016 Western Conference finals.
In Game 6, with a chance to eliminate the Warriors on his home court, Durant flopped, making 10 of 31 shots.
In Game 7, in Oakland, he made 10 of 19 but lacked the assertiveness he’d played with earlier in the playoffs and earlier in the series. Five weeks later, he became a Warrior.
Since, he’s been a mystery, or as big a mystery…