UPDATE—May 24, 2013— Kevin Durant has reached out to others for donations and help for victims of the devastating tornado that ripped up a town in Oklahoma earlier this week. In addition to his own donation, his sponsor Nike announced it will donate $1 million in clothing and shoes to residents who lost everything. Durant has also gotten support from his team, the OKC Thunder who matched their star’s $1 million donation, followed by the NBA and its players association who jointly pledged the same amount. The kid’s sense of responsibility and his sincerity are not to be taken for granted in today’s superstar sports culture. Original story follows:
Kevin Durant got his first look at the result of Monday’s tornado outside Oklahoma City yesterday as he walked the area with those affected.
Durant is more than a member of the OKC Thunder. He’s a member of the community and his neighbors know and believe that.
The camera caught him struggling to put his thoughts into words.
“I’m just trying to do the best with what I have,” Durant said when asked about his thoughts after his time in the rubble and devastation.
“I think that’s the most I can do. Just be there for them. I’m sure I’ll be back up here a few times. I don’t know when but I’m sure I’ll be back here, just to meet some more families. You know, to give them a sense of hope.”
The young man had already put his money where his mouth is by directing his foundation to pledge $1 million to the Red Cross relief fund.
His voice became halting when he spoke about the children who died on Monday.
Here’s what sets Kevin Durant apart from the average wealthy athlete. It’s not just the amount of money he is ready to part with. It isn’t even the fact that he interrupted his off-season to get on the ground for cameras.
It’s that Kevin Durant has a sense of obligation, not just charity. In his mind there would be no way he could face fans in the community without having done the most he could. His duty to teammates and fans falls into the same category.
His press conference after the Thunder were sent home by the Memphis Grizzlies during round two of the this year’s NBA playoffs should make that clear.
Instead of announcing the season a waste of time because his team didn’t get back to the Finals and win, Kevin Durant declared it a learning experience. As reported by Slamonline.com
“Of course the ultimate goal in this league is to win a championship. But I’m never going to say I wasted a year. I’m blessed to even wake up and do something I love every day. So it’s never wasted. We take that for granted a lot. But that’s something I’m not going to do. I enjoy playing this game. I enjoy playing for this city, my teammates.”
After informing the assembled media that he wasn’t like Kobe or MJ, they finally seemed to get it. He enjoys playing for the city of OKC.
Kevin Durant is special.