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Day after big Thunder win, Durant played some pickup ball at the Y

Nov 26, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

Kevin Durant has promoted his image as the clean-cut guy who just loves the game. Nothing is ever that simple or clean — you don’t get to be the second best player on the planet without some ego (and he’s got plenty of ink on his body).

But there is some truth to the image.

Take this recent column from the site (hat tip to Lang at All Ball).

I wasn’t expecting anybody else to be there last Friday around lunchtime when I went in to shoot baskets, so you can imagine my surprise to find this guy, casually playing with eight of his friends:

There Kevin Durant was, the morning after dropping 28 points in a late game against the Clippers, playing half-court ball with his buddies (each of them big enough to discomfort somebody sitting next to them on an airplane), talking noise and completely disregarding the “NO DUNKING ALLOWED” sign pasted to the window of the gym. The Y employee at the desk made me promise not to bother him, so I checked out a ball and headed to the other end of the court to practice corner threes and otherwise pretend like one of the two greatest basketball players on the planet wasn’t at the other end performing feats of scoring magic that I normally can’t afford to watch up close.

First off — how cool would that be? To just go to the gym and get up some shots in an empty room (something I try to do once a week at my gym) and to stumble into Kevin Durant balling at the other end. Just as a fan of the game that would be awesome.

People who know Durant will tell you he is a straight up good guy. I always take that with a grain of salt because I’ve been told some real a$&@#*! players were good guys by agents/team officials.

But people I trust speak well of him. This plays right into the image he is trying to sell.

  1. asimonetti88 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    I was living in Seattle at the time he was playing for the SuperSonics, and he and his mom lived across the street from us. He was a great neighbor and seemed like a good guy to me. They had a lot of family over all the time and you’d see him out in the yard with his mom doing chores like a regular 19 year old would.

    • antistratfordian - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      “he and his mom lived across the street from us”

      That isn’t entirely true, now is it?

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 26, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        They lived on the other side of the street, three houses down. He wasn’t home all that much since basketball players are on the road so much, but his mom was always around and when KD was home you’d see him around.

        I moved back to Los Angeles area around the same time the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City, but last I heard (2 years or so ago) he still owned the house.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 26, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        Heh. First it was across the street, now it’s three house down – still not true though, is it?

        You know it’s 2013. If some guy named Anthony Simonetti comes around saying he lived across the street (or three houses down, on the other side of the street) from Kevin Durant on Mercer Island in 2008 – that can be verified in seconds.

      • pdub923 - Nov 26, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        Calm down, antistratfordian. Not sure why you care so much about the facts here? Nobody gives a crap how close asimonetti88 lived or didn’t live next to Durant. You didn’t lose the “Who-Lives-Closer-To-Kevin” Contest.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        Relax, Jack. Honesty is the best policy. I don’t know what else to tell ya.


      • asimonetti88 - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        Not sure why you are so upset by that statement, but feel free to Google it if you’d like. I didn’t realize it was going to be controversial to say he lived across the street instead of specifying his exact address. I’m just making a factual statement in response to Kurt’s discussion of whether KD’s image is reality or manufactured. In my limited experience with the guy it seemed to be true. He was certainly closer to his image than Bill Russell is- I had a few interactions with him when I worked at a grocery store and he was actually rather rude, treating the employees poorly and acting as though he were better than us simply because he was Bill Russell.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 27, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        I’m not upset by it. It just isn’t true. It’s the sort of thing that sets BS detectors off.

        It’s not a big deal though. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

        I love KD, btw. No problems there. And Bill Russell IS better than you! Kidding. Coincidentally, Russell also lives on Mercer Island.

      • limonadamas - Nov 27, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        @anti: What the hell is wrong with you? =T

      • antistratfordian - Nov 27, 2013 at 12:38 AM

        Problem? The only thing I have left to say about this is, “it ain’t cool being no jive turkey so close to thanksgiving.”

      • kinglorious - Nov 27, 2013 at 3:04 AM

        lol…stop hating man

      • antistratfordian - Nov 27, 2013 at 3:38 AM

        lol. I only hate lies and the lying liars who tell them. jk.

        I’m not hating. I can relate. I used to live in Medina next door to Lenny Wilkens. He was such a great neighbor. We saw The Phantom Menace together at the Cinerama. Me, him and Detlef used to hit up QFC all the time on Red Bull runs. Well, I didn’t exactly live next door to Wilkens, but three houses down on the other side of the street. Okay, not exactly that either, but I was in the neighborhood… a-and, fine, I didn’t go to The Phantom Menace premiere with Lenny but we made eye contact once. The exact details are immaterial – just know that he’s a chill dude and I lived close to him – those are the two most important takeaways.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 12:06 PM

        You have anger issues you should look into man. He lived across the street, three houses down. Your need to be right on everything is kind of pathetic. I’m not trying to brag, just giving a personal anecdote.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 27, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        LOL. Stop it, Simonetti.

        You know if you just said “I lived in his neighborhood” I wouldn’t have said anything. I don’t know why you went with “across the street” or “three houses down” – but I guess you thought it was important to fudge that information.

        But yesterday I was feeling quite unforgiving when stumbling across fabrications (which I normally am with posers, and even more so when the posers are Lakers fans). So today I’m going to be a little more generous than I was yesterday. So, fine – you lived three houses down. I’m okay with you knowing that I know that this is BS. Just between us.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Also, Lenny Wilkens lived in Bellevue.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 27, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Medina is in Bellevue.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 4:57 PM

        It is next to Bellevue, but it is its own city. People who live in Medina would not typically refer to themselves as residents of Bellevue but rather of Medina itself. It is where Bill Gates lives.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        No kidding. I am aware of the preferences of our Medina residents. Clyde Hillers are the same. But they simply live in “Bellevue” to many, and they’re going to have to live with that no matter how much it irritates them.

        It’s kind of the same thing as you saying “I was living in Seattle at the time” when you lived on Mercer Island. Mercer Island is also its own city. You probably said Seattle for the convenience of readers who wouldn’t know where Mercer Island is. The same thing happens sometimes with Medina, Clyde Hill and Bellevue.

        In any case, Wilkens has been living in Medina since 1998. 3429 Evergreen Point Road, Medina, WA 98039. Write him a letter. Tell him that you were living across the street from Durant in 2008.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        I really don’t care where you think I have or haven’t lived. I also didn’t think something semantics related would be so big of an issue. I’m a little bit shocked at how big of a need you have to always be right. That’s not natural.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        Relax, Jackson. It’s not a big deal. Just be honest next time. Problem solved.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

        I just Googled it, his house sold in early 2013.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

        If I was going to lie, I would have come up with something cooler than I saw him taking out the trash and his mom pulling weeds in the garden.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:36 PM

        Yes, Russell lives on Mercer Island Island as well, on the South End of the Island, only about a half mile or so away from where Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen lives and in the same neighborhood as former Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki lived when he played in Seattle.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 27, 2013 at 11:06 PM

        Yeah, not exactly, but whatever. S’all good.

      • asimonetti88 - Nov 29, 2013 at 12:37 AM

        Yes, I’m lying about something that is easily Googled.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 30, 2013 at 1:42 AM

        Oh, I’m not saying you were lying about that. You were just mistaken about their proximity to one another.

        That’s all.

        Like I said, don’t worry about it. So you’re not very detail oriented – big deal. It’s all good.

  2. antistratfordian - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    He really shouldn’t be dunking though is there is a sign that says “NO DUNKING ALLOWED” – he’s just a thug like the rest of them!!!! 😉

  3. creek0512 - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    The public often forgets that athletes are also people.

  4. iowahbr - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    1. if you think anyone gets as good as he is without just plain the loving the game you are dead wrong.
    2. You never hear a bad word about him from anyone and he never puts his mouth in gear without using the clutch.
    3. Always fun to watch even if you ain’t a Thunder fan.
    4. Hope he plays for 20 years and I’m a Bulls fan.

  5. swaggy G - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    “Plus he has plenty of ink on his body”


    • Kurt Helin - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      I don’t think it’s a big deal, some people do.

  6. obmig - Nov 26, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Caught him at the Goodman League in DC over the summer. Showed up an hour before his game to chill and mingle with the people in the crowd. Gave away his shoes after the game. Seems like a great guy.

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