With every season that goes by it seems Kevin Durant has much more of an edge than previously thought. A little bit more of going over to that side of the spectrum and he’ll start picking up hate, just like LeBron James, for the change in his perceived attitude and behavior.
Success breeds fans, but also jealousy and superficial hate. Durant hasn’t exactly conquered all of the mountains just yet – no NBA title, no MVP. He hasn’t done anything like ‘the Decision’ which changed everyone’s opinion of LeBron James, but Durant is no longer the nice kid from the Oklahoma City Thunder who is playing nice.
He wasn’t far from picking up more technical fouls than anyone else last season, and he’s on a healthy pace this year as well. He’s tied for third this season so far with nine, and eventually finished with 12 last year, including one ejection. He has said once or twice that he’s working on that aspect of his behavior on court, but it hasn’t been helpful as far as we can tell.
Kevin Durant was nicknamed Durantala for a long time (not by himself) before some band sued him or someone else for illegally using the name. So everyone stopped using it, and started looking for a new one. His ability this season brought quite a number of fruitful debates, until a reddit user that goes by the username of Ebonicz94 came up with the ‘Slim Reaper.’ Ominous, dark, excellent.
However, even though it did catch on through social media and got to Durant himself, he didn’t like it too much. So what does Durant prefer? According to his talk with Bill Simmons, the servant fits him better. Why? Because he likes to serve everybody.
Durant did say that t’s kinda weird to make your own nickname, but he still would pick that one. I’m not sure it’ll catch on because it pretty much sucks, but who knows?
Besides the actual point and issue of the nickname, Durant is walking a tight rope hear in terms of public opinion. He might be the media darling right now, but ESPN and others love to build someone up so he can be torn down. Already, going on certain forums and NBA boards across the web there’s not as much love towards Durant as many expect. There’s been more arrogance coming from him both on the court and outside of it, and it’s not going to help picking a “humble” nickname as something of reverse psychology.
But Durant will be willing to live with a bit more hate and go through the scrutiny LeBron James does if it means actually winning something. James might not have the net popularity he once had, but when it comes with so many MVP awards and two NBA championships, it doesn’t matter as much. Kevin Durant will be willing to slip into the villain role if it also means a few championship rings on his fingers.