Kevin Durant, a Servant, and what it all means (Update)

February 20, 2014 - Kevin Durant

(Disclaimer – this is a opposite kind of post, one I’ve never created before, nonetheless touches on Thunder basketball usually in an subordinate sense. Its essence competence infer to be contentious, that we know all too well. we simply ask that we cruise it, and if not, afterwards pass it by and we’ll get behind to a Thunder coverage in a nearby future.)


(Update: See below)



“Velvet Hoop.”

“Iceberg Slim.”

“Slim Reaper.”

Kevin Durant’s star is rising fast in a NBA, as he has his Oklahoma City Thunder primed to make their biggest dash nonetheless in a playoffs and he’s doing it while personification a best basketball of his life. As such, we a fans and we a writers (we’re all one and a same, we know) feel a low need to put it in context, and one of a ways we do is to start assigning labels and nicknames to a events as they unfold. How critical is a nickname? To some, it is unequivocally important, an identifying underline that a actor both fulfills and goes before him, echoing everywhere he roams.

Some nicknames we like and some we don’t, and Durant has never been a fan of any of them outward of his initials, “KD.” That’s good, we think, given we tend to demeanour contorted during players who allot themselves a nickname, a la Kobe Bryant’s “Black Mamba” or Dwyane Wade’s “Flash,” or, “WoW.”

Being presented with these several monikers, generally in light of his new MVP-level surge, Durant was asked how he felt about a latest one, “Slim Reaper.”  Here is what he had to say:

“That name is what it is…It’s cold to have a nickname somebody else gave to you. It’s kind of uncanny if we make your possess nickname up. But to have that out there, we guess, is cool. I’m here to gleam a splendid light. I’m not here to be a male of, we guess, death. We’ll see what happens with that, nonetheless we usually like KD better.”

“Everybody’s been amatory a name. we cruise I’m a usually one that unequivocally doesn’t like it too much.”

Following All-Star weekend, Grantland EiC Bill Simmons brought Durant into a studio and Durant got grilled on his nickname once again. This time around however, Durant had something with that to counter.

“You can call me The Servant…I like to offer everybody. My teammates. Ushers during a game. The fans…

“I know it’s kinda uncanny to make your possess nickname,” Durant said, “but we like that one better.”

The greeting to Durant’s self-descriptor was a sundry brew of difficulty and, well, frustration. Simmons himself was confused by a name, nonetheless here are some of a some-more outspoken responses:

Not usually is “The Servant” a terrible nickname, it’s a nickname that Durant has given himself for all a wrong reasons. It’s a kind of nickname that reinforces a fetishization of Durant’s “humility” and “graciousness” that started when a post-The Decision universe cried out for an egoless anti-LeBron. – Tom Ley, Deadspin

Keep thinking, Slim Reaper. Or KD.

While accurate—in that Durant truly does play for everyone, from his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates to his fans—it’s usually not catchy, and handles need to be catchy. Not to mention, he clearly despises Slim Reaper given of how joyless it is, and The Servant isn’t any some-more uplifting. – Dan Favale, Bleacher Report

And on and on.

Since it is apparent to me that many if not all writers have missed a symbol on this one, let me step into a space and fill in a gaps on what should be a pure anxiety by KD.

Kevin Durant is a avowed Christian. Did we know this? You should know this, if we compensate courtesy during all to what he mostly talks about in interviewschurches, and even on-air controversies.  He carries a Bible with him during all times in his dear trek and weaves references into each day review that sheds light on his universe view. For example, recently when asked if it is bizarre for he and LeBron to work out together, here is his response:

“It’s not strange. we review a good book. It’s called a Bible, and it says “Iron sharpens iron and one male sharpens another.” [Proverbs 27:17] So if we demeanour during it that way, possibly proceed you’re personification opposite a male who’s during a tip of his diversion and is usually going to make we better. So that’s how we demeanour during it.”

If offer justification is indispensable as to where Durant’s life concentration lies, demeanour no offer than a male himself. More specifically, his back.



If we can’t review it, this is what a content says:

Consider it a perfect gift, friends, when tests and hurdles come during we from all sides. You know that underneath pressure, your faith-life is forced into a open and shows a loyal colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do a work so we turn mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. – James 1:2-4, The Message

This is a context. This is who Kevin Durant is. With that in mind, cruise his elite nickname again, “The Servant,” nonetheless inspect it by Christian theology, not basketball.

“Even as a Son of Man came not to be served nonetheless to serve, and to give his life as a release for many.” – Matt. 20:28

“For who is a greater, one who reclines during list or one who serves? Is it not a one who reclines during table? But we am among we as a one who serves.” – Luke 22:27

“For we know a beauty of a Lord Jesus Christ, that nonetheless he was rich, nonetheless for your consequence he became poor, so that we by his misery competence turn rich.” – 2 Corin. 8:9

“When he had cleared their feet and put on his outdoor panoply and resumed his place, he pronounced to them, “Do we know what we have finished to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and we are right, for so we am.  If we then, your Lord and Teacher, have cleared your feet, we also ought to rinse one another’s feet.  For we have given we an example, that we also should do usually as we have finished to you.” John 13:12-14

“And a King will answer them, ‘Truly, we contend to you, as we did it to one of a slightest of these my brothers, we did it to me.’” – Matt. 25:40

Remember Bill Simmons’ famous review with Isiah Thomas about “The Secret?” That a tip to basketball is that it’s not about basketball? The tip to The Servant is that it is not about basketball. What Durant is articulate about is who he is as a person, not merely as a player. It is about his enterprise to be a supporter of Jesus, and to live as Jesus modeled, as a menial and release for humanity.

I know that many readers who review this will not indispensably determine with Durant’s contention of faith or his personal self-assurance to live by a Bible and as a supporter of Jesus. There are many opposite viewpoints on life and spirituality and a indicate of this post is not to bar people of opposite faiths and creeds. Rather, we would ask that we merely consider, for a indicate of what is good in life, that a proceed that Durant has selected to extract is a good thing. To be a common servant. To cruise others larger than himself. To adore others as he loves himself. To, as he says above, gleam a splendid light into a universe that can infrequently seem extremely dark, given dark can't sense light (John 1:5).

When we take such an proceed in life, things like this turn a easiest thing in a world.

Durant has selected this trail to follow in his life, and as he has pronounced many times, it brings him accomplishment and joy. It is a enterprise to hear, during a finish of his days, “Well done, good and true servant.”


Update: Ever given Durant’s Grantland talk strike a Internet there has been many parsing of his words. As we already noted, Durant walked behind from his prediction of Westbrook’s lapse and had this to contend about a talk in general:

We can usually assume what stirred a walkback, nonetheless from Durant’s quote it is apparent that he regretted doing a talk with Simmons. In a re-watch of a experience we can substantially see why, and I’m certain we can assume on a reasons since Durant regretted it, usually as we can.

Of march partial of his walk-back enclosed his nickname, “The Servant,” that is apparently a whole theme of this post.

While it is required to note his retraction, we don’t wish to travel divided from my possess assertions. we don’t trust he was joking around when he pronounced it and we cruise he wants to be taken severely in this regard. However, my tummy instinct, formed quite on premonition and speculation, is that he competence have been so astounded and perturbed during a recoil over it that he felt a need to set it aside. Too bad, we think, given a name was never about a name, nonetheless about his temperament as a person. The good news is that he doesn’t need a name. He can simply be Kevin, a male who loves to serve, and that is enough.


post book – we recently had a event to be in a locker room with Durant a few weeks ago, and we had hoped that we competence send to him my indebtedness for his bravery in vital out his faith daily. we never got a possibility to pronounce to him, so hopefully, if by some possibility he reads this, my missed event competence be remedied. Soli Deo Gloria.


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