It was quite the year for Kevin Durant. He switched teams and won a championship with the Golden State Warriors. He got NBA Finals MVP and finally got the championship ring he always dreamed of getting, to solidify himself as one of the best to ever do it. Especially for this generation.
Afterwards, it’s been a non-stop celebration.
GQ traveled with KD on vacation in India, as he shared a lot of his experience up to this point and what he’s planning on doing to level up and get another championship under the belt with his squad. During the interview, Durant also talked about Rihanna sitting courtside yelling things at him, why he compares himself to JAY Z and life in Oakland, CA. Plus, those legendary games at Rucker Park in New York.
The championship he won in his first season with the Warriors was confirmation that he’d made the right choice. But he also found, away from Oklahoma City, that his world kept getting bigger in ways he hadn’t anticipated and didn’t always know how to deal with. In Game 1 of the finals, he was at the free-throw line when he heard a woman heckling him, shouting “Brick!” as he released each shot. It was only when he looked over that he realized the woman was Rihanna. This was not the kind of thing that regularly happened in OKC. “Rihanna never came to my game before, unless we were in L.A. She didn’t come to a home game of mine before. Jay-Z and all these people who come…that amount of attention for me is like, you ever seen Hancock? You remember when he had to walk into that event and all these cameras were flashing, and he just didn’t know how to smile? That’s me sometimes. I get a little overwhelmed at that shit. Because, man, I can remember me cooking up as a kid by myself. Now millions of people are watching me play? That’s an adjustment, bro.”
In the calm of his hotel room, Durant told me that he related to Jay-Z. Not only the younger, defiant Jay-Z now on the speaker, but the present-day, 2017 Jay-Z, the guy who just made 4:44. The older, more vulnerable, confessional artist. “Just the honesty,” Durant said. Durant has been signed to Jay’s Roc Nation Sports for years and is friendly with Jay-Z. But there was something about listening to 4:44. “The openness,” Durant said, putting his finger on it. “You could tell he had something he wanted to get off his chest. And it can be hard when you got so many people watching you. So I feel like you got to build up that courage to just say: ‘Look, man, this is how I do things.’
You can read the whole feature over at GQ.