Kevin Durant's in New York for tonight's NBA All-Star game, and yesterday he had to spend some time speaking to media. One reporter asked about Scotty Brooks's job status, since Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder are 28-25 and currently a half-game out of the Western Conference playoffs. In response, the reigning league MVP doled out some very real talk. From The Daily Oklahoman:
"You guys really don't know (expletive)," Durant told reporters in his final interview session before Sunday's All-Star Game.
Durant was later asked what stories he would like the media to focus on more.
"To be honest, man, I'm only here talking to y'all because I have to," Durant said. "So I really don't care. Y'all not my friends. You're going to write what you want to write. You're going to love us one day and hate us the next. That's a part of it. So I just learn how to deal with y'all."
This is great. Over the last few months, there's been a renaissance of sorts as players have found their agency and realized that they don't have to ask, "How high?" every time a random reporter shoves a microphone in their face and tells them to jump. Media caught feelings all season long when Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch blew off reporters again and again. Last month, Durant's teammate Russell Westbrook authored a contentious and hilarious interview with locker-room reporters, and just a couple weeks ago, Durant himself pwned a basketball writer, tweeting out he "got fired for being a dumbass."
We're fine with this, because what's been highlighted over the last few months is just how worthless so many in media are. Instead of working to foster relationships or at least ask interesting questions, many reporters can only muster a brief, "Tell me about..." and then wait for the athlete to write their article for them. It's lazy and wholly unnecessary to sports or media consumption, and should be treated as such. But!
Durant, for the moment, anyway, seems to be leading the charge against media fuckshit, which is a beautiful development. On this very sports weblog, a colleague of mine lambasted Durant, in part because my colleague is an unrepentant and unironic Lil B stan, and in part because until recently, Durant spent the majority of his time in the NBA twisting himself into a pretzel whenever in front of media in hopes of convincing us that he is a completely blank and benign and therefore marketable superstar. That seems to be done and over with now, though.
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And that's a good thing, because it's more valuable when someone tells you how they honestly feel than when they smile in your face, and also because Durant doesn't owe any would-be jock jockeys a damn thing. And besides, when talking to reporters from around the country who swooped in to New York to rub shoulders with young athletes who are actually good at their jobs and to get free stuff en route to penning one or more meaningless columns, the "you guys don't know shit" stance isn't even wrong.
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