Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant saw his popularity take a significant hit when he left the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors in 2016. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith called it the weakest move by a superstar in NBA history since Durant joined a Warriors team that beat him in the 2016 Western Conference Finals and won 73 games without him.
Several basketball fans haven’t forgiven Durant for joining the Warriors. The two-time Finals MVP also hasn’t done himself any favors by using burner accounts on Twitter to defend himself. It makes him look insecure and immature.
Durant has been painted as a villain by his critics for signing with the Warriors, creating another superteam in Brooklyn, and responding to trolls on social media. However, the two-time champion wants people to know that he’s not a bad guy and is actually a nice person.
Kevin Durant: I’m not a villian, I’m a nice person
During the opening ceremonies at the Tokyo Olympics, Durant went on his Instagram live, and someone next to him said, “You’re so nice. You take pictures with everybody.” The one-time MVP responded by saying, “They try to paint me as this guy that’s a villain, but I’m a nice person at the end of the day.”
Durant’s image is severely tarnished after joining the Warriors and using burner accounts on Twitter. Even though he had the third-most-popular jersey in the NBA behind LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2020-21, the 11-time All-Star gets a lot of hate on social media and is booed in almost every road arena he plays in.
During a Nets-Philadelphia 76ers game in April, Sixers fans chanted “KD sucks” even though the Brooklyn star wasn’t playing. It’s safe to assume that Durant is one of the most hated players in the league, and Nets fans are the only people who like him.
However, Durant is actually a nice person if you get to know him and don’t take basketball so seriously. Not only does he stop and take pictures with his fans, but the future Hall of Famer has also donated millions of dollars to charities to help people less fortunate than him.
Kevin Durant gives back to the community
KDCF, which stands for the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, strives to enrich the lives of at-risk youth from low-income backgrounds through educational, social, and athletic programs. Since 2013, Durant’s foundation has developed programs to support youth across the world and allocated grants to support programs addressing homelessness, girls empowerment, youth athletics, social justice, and disaster relief.
When he was on the Thunder, Durant donated $1 million to the Red Cross Tornado Relief fund after a tornado touched down in Oklahoma City in 2013. The four-time scoring champion also donated money for Hurricane Harvey relief in 2017, Hurricane Dorian Bahamas relief in 2019 and partnered with Degree to contribute $1 million to support grassroots youth sports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So while Durant may be rude sometimes on social media, he is undoubtedly a good person at heart. He’s also unquestionably one of the greatest scorers of all time, and basketball fans should appreciate his greatness.
We may never see a scorer like KD again
Durant has career averages of 27.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. He’s fifth in NBA history in points per game and could be the most unique scorer ever.
KD is seven feet tall, so he can shoot over anyone. He also has unlimited range, allowing him to shoot from anywhere on the court. The Texas product has guard-like handles, too, and can cross over elite defenders in his sleep. He is so good on offense that defenders sometimes have to pray that he misses.
Durant is certainly motivated to win a title with the Nets. He likely knows that many NBA fans are rooting for him and the Nets to fail. Just like when LeBron played for the Miami Heat, Durant is the villain of the NBA, but he’s not a bad guy off the court. Otherwise, the Nets swingman wouldn’t have so many fans around the world and donate millions of dollars to charities.