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Welcome back, Kaup Season three, we have an incredible, incredible season for everyone, A-Rod. Good to see you. Although I've seen you a billion times between when we started taping this because we started taping this what feels like years ago.
Exactly. But we're ready for season three. What we're going to do this season is we have three episodes they're dropping today and four episodes that are dropping on Thursday. Yep. We are brought to you, by the way, by our good friends at President, a beard.
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The beer's one hundred percent corp certified and approved. OK, episode one Kevin Durant.
We taped this so long ago, but it's such a good interview and it's we taped it before coronavirus. We taped it before he had coronavirus.
We taped it I think at the end of twenty nineteen when the world was a totally different place.
But I loved this interview because I've obviously said some things about KD which some of the harsher things I said we agreed we'd still do on part of my take.
We had that agreement, but we got to talk to him about the competitor, what has what makes him great. And I just love watching you sit with another great athlete and watch you guys kind of gelled together and be like, oh, yeah, that's what made us special.
It was so cool. I mean, first of all, I didn't realize how tall he was. I mean, he's. Yes, a seven footer that just drains jump shots from everywhere he taught us.
So I think you guys all find it really cool. He showed us how to shoot a jump shot. Doesn't mean that you're not going to shoot like that. But what was most surprising and it was a pleasant surprise is how smart, how sweet, how sensitive he was, how much he is into business, and then how much he told us about LeBron James. Yes, he revealed a lot. Yes.
And the fact that, you know, there's a lot of people in today's NBA, we'll be like, well, these guys don't hate each other like they used to. And that might be true. But what KD kind of explained was LeBron pushed him to be a better player and made him get in the gym more and push that extra little bit to try to compete with the brawn. Knowing that that's the bar. Who is that? When you were playing?
Who is the bar?
You know, it's funny because when you were saying that, then I was just thinking about, you know, Magic and Bird would always say I would be working in Indiana. Why I knew Magic was working in L.A. and vice versa. I think about Michael Jordan trying to beat the Pistons. For me, it was trying to be the Yankees and it was you know, Jeter was Garciaparra. We had like these great young shortstops coming up. And then when I got to New York, I needed to work so hard because I knew that Big Papi and Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez for the Red Sox, we're doing everything in their power to beat the crap out of us.
And we were doing the same exact thing. Yes.
And it's it's great to hear someone I mean, like, you just explained it. But also when Kevin explains it, like you think of the great athletes and you think that comes so effortlessly to them a lot of times. But finding that one motivation, finding that person, they have to push themselves to be like it's fascinating. And it was a great interview. And like I said, we're going to get him on part of my team because we have definitely talked some junk about him.
And we I when he first when I walked in and he saw me, he was like, oh, you're the dude. And I was like, yeah, we have some things we got to discuss. But this was a great interview and really excited to have this be the start of season three with the cork. Before we get into the interview, A-Rod, this is actually one of my favorite sponsors we've ever had, because I remember when we first talked, you told me the importance of investing in real estate and how early on when you started in Seattle, you were buying apartments left and right.
So we have our friends across Country Mortgage, and I think this is an important sponsor for our audience, especially because the word mortgage is a scary word for a lot of people. And they don't know that they can probably qualify for a mortgage today and they're throwing money away renting. I imagine you haven't rented in a long, long time. You you knew that the value of of owning a place, you just actually bought a new place. Congratulations. So like the idea that a mortgage you're building equity when you first started and you were like, hey, I'm going to invest in real estate.
What was that like? It was scary. I mean, first of all, you know, I think there's a difference between owning a home and commercial real estate. One is an asset, one is a liability. So a home where you live is a liability because it takes money out of your pocket every month.
An asset is an apartment building or an office building where you're receiving money. Every month, however, you're looking at interest rates at a historic low.
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So cross country mortgage, go check them out out lenders. Dotcom Corp.. OK, here he is, Kevin Durant.
You're listening to the court presented by Barstool Sports.
OK, we now welcome on this episode of The Kaup, a very special guest. It is two time NBA champ, two time finals MVP, ten time NBA all star Kevin Durant. Thank you for joining us, KD. Appreciate that. Where where should we start? We have so many things that we need to get to. I guess we'll start with the injury. And how are you doing right now?
I'm doing better, doing more every week and just strengthening up my my leg, just trying to to build a build strength. I really, you know, my Achilles heel.
Um, no, no, no pain when I'm when I'm moving around or anything like that, but. Oh excuse me. But just building up strength.
So I actually like thinking about how I wanted to attack this interview. I see a lot of parallels between you, A-Rod, your career and Kevin Durant and get to the business stuff. But the injury, I'm interested in this. And you can answer A-Rod as well because you were obviously out for an entire year. You're out for a year this year, Kevin. How hard is it to, like, stay connected to the sport, to your teammates to, like, be locked in when you're out and away from everything for an entire year is difficult, especially when I love to play so much.
I love being in that atmosphere so much and to not, you know, do my normal routine or to be around a team as much on the road just to build a camaraderie, especially with a new group that I'm on. It definitely feels different, you know, is one of those feelings. Whereas just like every day, I don't know how much feels up and down moves for me sometimes. And I watch a game. I turn out quick because I want to be in a game, you know, so it's just it's just that it's a long process, man, to just out of stay patient through it.
Another common denominator between KD and I is that we both went to the big bad Yankees, the big bad Golden State, and a team that had an embarrassment of riches. And like the Yankees and Golden State, already world champions a lot of similarities. There are a few questions. Kind of walk me through what you were thinking. With your inner circle, why Golden State, who was to who was number three and how is that a challenge for you?
Well, been in OKC for so long, I looked at I reflected on my time there as a player, you know, what I did with the city and for my teammates, all that stuff.
I really you know, you can't deny that stuff. But as a basketball player, I looked at the landscape of the team and how where I wanted to take my game. I felt in OKC we had a lot of athletes on the floor and I was one of the main guys that was accounted for to be a skilled player, which is make threes, create plays.
And I wanted to be around more players that play like me, you know, and Golden State, you have Steph Curry who can shoot.
You had Klay Thompson, who can shoot and make plays. Andre Iguodala, who was a Do Everything Forward, and Draymond Green as well. You know, and I think our talents meshed together and I felt like my game was going to take the next step if I was playing around some players like that.
Can you give me one thing you've learned from each one of those players you mentioned and include Coach Kerr? Because that was such a stellar group and your game just went to it was at a high level. It went to like out of this world.
Yeah. Were you on the team and you were tasked with doing a certain thing? I was. I had to you know, coach wanted me to score, play defense, move without the basketball. When I was just told to do those three things, I really locked in on it and seeing the other guys just lock in on their roll. You know, you didn't want to step outside your lane and do something, you know, different from the team.
So I just really figured out what it meant to play on the team and from curry and to be with Steph, somebody that so skilled at the game and his methods or how he, you know, gets those shots off his balance when he's shooting those shots is just his approach to his craft is a little different from the norm.
Whereas like he's always focused on his balance, focused on where his eyes are at the rim, is really it's really hard to explain. It's like he's pretty good at everything when it comes to hand eye coordination. And it's like you can see it while he's working out. So I just took the small gems from him and shooting and ball handling and passing and using your off hand and stuff like that. And Clay, just somebody who's a machine, he's never stops, you know, running, moving around on the floor.
His jump shot is so quick, his feet is always on time. So, you know, just a real small, intricate parts of the game.
I try to take from everybody the guy that that one thing, Dan, because I love this guy, this guy Green. Everyone hates him. Dennis Rodman.
Yeah, but he seems like such a key part of your team. Yeah. Give me one thing on him, because I really like him.
Well, he was he was kind of the glue. He kind of if you seen a fire out there on defense, he was going to be the one to cover it up, you know? So if somebody was in a post, for example, if I was in a post against the guy that was bigger and stronger than me, I knew for a fact that Draymond was going to come over to my back and held me up. So, you know, when you have guys that you can rely on on a defensive side of the ball like that and someone who is proactive and seeing a play before it happens, it makes your job way easier.
It makes you more relaxed out there as a player. So, you know, if you don't play the game, you'll realize that stuff. You don't see the Florida game. And when you look at Draymond, you only may see the antics as far as, you know, how he hopes to crowd up, how he wants to hype his team up. But like the small stuff that he does in a game really was beneficial for guys like Steph Clay myself.
It made us really, really feel comfortable in offensive side.
Do you get mad when? And this question for both of you, when casual fans don't understand those intricacies of the game, not to name names, but I'm definitely one of them. I like when, you know, when they make judgment and they're not seeing everything and they don't know everyone's responsibility in a certain set or whatever it may be, that they then just jump to the conclusion that guy stinks or that guy had a bad game.
You don't see the other stuff I used to I used to get upset, you know, because I thought everybody who watched the game, who chimed in on a game really pays attention like that. But, you know, it's moving so fast. There's a lot of happening in the NBA. So it's hard to focus in on the small parts of the game. So I get it is the entertainment aspect to it. And people enjoy what they see from the surface level, but is also some fans that want to notice information as well.
So I try to give them that, too.
I feel like that's involved with you. I feel like earlier in your career you might have gotten a lot of a lot not angrier, but just more like, hey, you guys aren't really watching the game. Yeah. And then you realize most people can't watch the game at the level that you're thinking. Yeah. Oh, really? No one can.
Yeah. I mean, because I always looked at myself as a guy that developed this, you know, I wasn't born with this type of knowledge or talent for the game. And I felt like if I love something as much as basketball, I mean, people want to be in it 24/7 like they are now, and they should want to know, you know, the deeper parts of the game. So that's how I view it. That's what I thought.
Everybody should view the game. But, you know, that's not reality.
So we're going, oh, I was going to say one last thing on Draymond, so I found this is kind of a parallel as well. Your relationship with Draymond very criticized. Very it's under a microscope. Your relationship with Derek Jeter under a microscope. Both of you when you see the media. Fans just deciding how you, you know, interact with this person, not understanding like how you actually interact with them day to day. Does that make you mad or do you like are you frustrated?
Do you guys laugh? Did you laugh with Derek ever being like can you believe The New York Post thinks this when in reality it's this kid I want to hear?
Yeah, yeah. I mean, we we laugh sometimes. Sometimes we didn't laugh. You know, I think part of being brothers is sometimes brothers agree, disagree. But the one thing we agreed with every day is here's a guy who's a five time world champion. He came up and did it in the greatest city in the world every day. And it was my job as an outsider to mold into the Yankee way. And it took me a while and I made a lot of mistakes.
I imploded myself by saying things that were forgiven in Seattle and Texas, but really shouldn't have been. And I came to New York unprepared to a degree, and I learned with boots on the ground. And the one thing I can tell you that all of that came around in 2009. And when we were able to, you know, raise that banner in New York City. Yeah, there's nothing like it. Yeah.
Like I said, I mean, you go to a season. I mean, we were around these guys every single day. And Draymond and I really you know, our relationship was pretty perfect, you know, up until, you know, we had an argument on the court and in L.A. But after that I felt like just, you know, media members and, you know, just wanted to get deeper into the story and figure out why what had happened.
And, you know, once you once you want to go deeper into debt, you know, you've got hundreds and thousands of media members just trying to dissect a story. It can get overwhelming at times, especially for the rest of the guys on the team. So I understood why I was a big deal, because we were champions. And, you know, that was the first blow up. And everybody looked at us as like the perfect team.
But like, you know, that's how basketball is. That's how sports is. You get into it, you move on and you figure it out. And we almost had a chance to win.
Yeah. And I also think what happens in sports a lot and you both have had to deal with this. And again, this is probably partially my fault, is that we love to build guys up and then we love to tear them down and we love to see teams win. And then if they win more than once, we're like, fuck these guys. We don't want to see them win anymore and we love to see them fight. So it's probably frustrating, I would imagine, from that perspective where it's like you guys love me, you know, one year ago and now you hate me kind of deal.
You know, it's really not that serious. You know, I don't think guys focused on it that much. You know, we come in and we we to be honest, before, like social media, the only thing you're really worried about was like fans at the Games, like somebody might heckle you here and there.
But like, you know, is is is if you stay off the Internet is really not that bad as a player. We don't really get to hear all of that stuff that goes on. But the Internet is such a huge part of our lives right now. It's hard to avoid it. And but you know what it is? It's entertainment, you know, with the clips before. And you know what people want to see at this point. So but it doesn't I don't think it affects anybody's game out there on the floor or make you know, they don't make rash decisions out in the public because of it.
But, you know, it's an entertainment aspect that is involved.
You know, Katie, I wanted to be an NBA player so bad, really, when I was 12 years old, I quit baseball and thank God for my mother, she had two jobs that she had the wits about her to realize that there's not too many Dominican players. Right. And, you know, Felipe made a good run. And my boy Hafford, too.
Yeah, we can play. But I then shifted back to baseball. When you think about I grew up watching Larry Bird versus Magic. You know, Isaiah versus Michael. Yeah. When you think about LeBron James and KD number one, is he that rival for you and LeBron?
How did LeBron make you a better player?
Well, since I was in ninth grade and I turned on ESPN one day, LeBron James was the guy that people says the next Jordan. So in my mind, I was a six to like JV player. I didn't I didn't play varsity my first year, my ninth grade year. So in my mind, I was like, this is the best player. So I have to be as good as this or have to look him in the eyes at some point in my career.
So, you know, that was always in the back of my mind as I worked as I play games I wanted to, because that's what I was told to me, that that was the new guy. That was the next Jordan. So, you know, but that evolved into like, you know, it's just another competitor, you know, so, you know, but just having somebody that's been around since I took basketball seriously and was still playing against each other, that's pretty special to me.
The longevity, you know, and you can call it a rivalry, you can call it whatever. But to have somebody at the same position, whereas we guard each other when we play is is definitely special because he's one of the best players ever touch the floor.
Do you think that the the criticism that the NBA has changed where guys don't hate each other like they used to, do you think that's valid?
I think guys respect each other. But, you know, is is still a level of, you know, Gasol we don't shake hands on a game or like. Is is different right now as far as like we respect each other on another level and we understand that we're all individuals and we come together to play on somebody else's team, but at the same time, we want to win a competitive fire still there. But it is it is a different feel right amongst the players.
It's like we all respect well, you know, the journey we took and we know how hard it is to get here. So it just is more open.
Now, that's also, I think, something with the technology, like, you know, you can text easier, you can interact.
You know, that relationship, you know you know, there you know what they're like just reading their Twitter, Instagram, whereas I'm sure in the 90s, like, what are you going to call? Like, Michael Jordan's not going to call Isaiah Thomas. You know, if they could text, I'm sure they would have A-Rod.
Do you who was your guy? Who is you know, Kevin mentions in ninth grade, he sees LeBron, who is your guy that you're like, I got to be that guy. I have three.
And it was because those are the teams. We got covered on television back then. We just had cable and the three teams were the met with W.R and it was Keith Hernandez. And I love Straw. And then I was a star shortstop and forever people said, you're too tall to play shortstop. I'm sure you heard that as a shooter, you're too tired to be that good of a shooter. For me, that was Cal Ripken, who was six foot four and obviously played many, many games in the streak.
And then third, I would say it was Dale Murphy because they were on TBS and there was they were America's team. And all these three guys played every day. They were leaders. There were blue collar guys. And, you know, I came up watching my mother, you know, serving tables as a as a waitress. And I just kind of, you know, gravitated to that kind of blue collar hard work for those guys.
Hmm. Interesting. So let's talk a little business.
First of all, the boardroom when you did that, did you just did you, like, blatantly decide you were going to rip us off or what was the idea behind that?
You're like, oh, that's pretty good. And why haven't we been invited to the board? I'm big.
And A-Rod like, yeah, let me just take that so that yeah, we St Mary's seeing the opportunity to bring a lot of people together to talk about stuff outside of just, you know, the field of play and what they're doing outside of the game. And, you know, there's a lot of interesting topics out there, a lot of interesting things that these athletes are getting into, you know, that are that they've leveraged, you know, their platforms to to get into other fields.
And it pretty is pretty interesting. So we just wanted to sit down and talk with everybody about it.
What's the what's like the most impressive either guest or lesson you've learned from talking to all these people?
We had the first season we had we had a few owners on Barmer. Josh Crunchie, was Ballmer sweating? Yeah. Yes. And screaming and screaming. Who else was it?
Rick Welts who was fingered? Michael Rubin on as well at some point.
At some point. But just to hear their perspective on why they bought these teams and the direction that they see these franchises going, you know, because it's bigger than what we see on the court. And there's a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes that's, you know, changing economies in these states and in these cities.
So is pretty, pretty interesting to hear him talk about that. And you said you want to own an NBA team at some point.
Yeah, right. Right. And I are going to buy the Yankees at some point. I'm going to throw in a couple of bucks, whatever.
But so what's appealing to you about owning an NBA team? I mean, that seems I don't it feels like one of those things where it's going to be a lot of work and like, what is the thing that you're like, I really want to do this. I think I can do this better.
Um, you know, leave your imprint on a on a state. On a city through the game of basketball, as you know, is what I live for. You know, that's I guess that's the next evolution for me from being a player, is to teach the game and to give back what I've learned. And also, you know, just from seeing the landscape of the NBA over the last 13 years from a business aspect, you know, just been learning over that time.
And, you know, by the time I retire, who knows what type of information and knowledge I have. So hopefully I had a capital as well.
You know, we have you know, I was very, very fortunate to play for one of my heroes, George Steinbrenner, and he bought the New York Yankees in nineteen seventy three for about ten point three million dollars from CBS, I believe. And I think he had a million or two of equity. Obviously, the landscape of ownership has changed tremendously. But I will never forget this is my first spring in 2004 with the Yankees spring training.
You know, we stretch around 10:00 in the morning and report was around 9:00 and, you know, three mornings in a row.
I just wanted to get there early. I just wanted to really just get to know just the clubhouse members, everybody around kind of the Yankee universe.
It was very intimidating. The pinstripes are very, very heavy. And when you first put them on, you feel them. And it's a tangible feel. What was interesting is I was the first one to the park. About six thirty in the morning, but it was still dark out and through the mist, I saw what I thought was a black BMW, but it was blue and it was a 750 BMW.
And I get closer and closer and I see the says GM's George Steinbrenner first guy in the field, seven o'clock in the morning, six thirty. And he was there the next day and the next day. And then I realize the greatness of him.
And about once a week, the clubhouse manager, Robby Karkus, I was saying, A-Rod, the boss wants to see you. I said, where? In the penthouse? Oh, boy.
And I will go up there. And and he was so great to me. He would write me these personal letters.
He would say, What are you doing with your barney says, get up there. Let me see a Barney standing. It was just awesome.
What kind of owner is Kevin Durant going to be who could question this commitment?
You know, I think somebody that loves a sport that loves to see development, I love to see his players do well. You know, that's that's all that sounds like.
And for me, I mean, my whole thing is like I enjoy I enjoy seeing players do well. I don't live on a floor and I enjoy helping them develop in some way. And I think as an owner, if you if you if you want to see that and everybody that works for you, you know, your business is going to grow so well. That's the attitude I have with it.
You know, probably less, probably not six thirty in the morning every morning. But but it's just always been involved and engaged and committed to which it was a working for and and knowing that you have a purpose in it. So, you know, that's that's just passion, I guess.
Will you be the type of owner who, like when you draft a new player, you play him one on one just so.
Yeah, probably so. I mean, Michael Jordan ruined Quansah. Yeah, that's a pretty tough workout. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.
Just let him know that you're still like you could come back if you wanted to. All right.
So thirty five ventures. What you guys invest in a ton of different stuff. Yeah. Is there like one common theme or thing you look for when you're, you know, trying to invest with a new company or new people?
I mean, just something that we, you know, stuff that we're usually passionate and stuff that we usually you know, it could be anything that we you know, it's authentic to what we like to do. I mean, and obviously the CEOs and the owners and creators, somebody people that we want to get and, you know, get to talk to and be involved with. But outside of that, usually products that we that we all enjoy. Yeah.
What's your favorite one that you've invested in or the one that maybe you're, like, most passionate about?
I mean, we're in equals. OK, that was really when I heard about that when I was the game changer is where you can invest your change.
I guess the change that you pay for something you can invest to change you like rolls over.
You look around. Yeah. Rounds up.
Exactly. So that was that was the Doug was pretty informative. I thought I was still and Postmus obviously is pretty cool too.
Yeah. Do you get a discount. No. Yeah I know. Right. I have a special code or something.
You have one of the most dynamic people in sports as a partner in Rich Climbin. I've known Rich almost twenty years and I mean he's the ultimate gritty kind of. I call those guys the right poor, hungry and driven. Yeah. I met his father yesterday. Great guy, great style rich. They didn't get the style, but he got the brains.
But I love what you're doing because you're thinking so far ahead and you're only 31 years old and you're already thinking about what life is going to be at 41 or 51 and the way you guys do it. Not only do you make a perfect team, but I am excited. And I think you and I with the corp, we're going to do a lot of excitement, things we might let Dan, because Dan is in parol right now with my company, but always permanent.
When you think about deploying capital, you know how small the check would. You're right. And how large of a check would you write? Thus we talked about that recently is something that we definitely want to start writing larger checks and seeing what I could take as we worked our way up, you know, first few years and getting into the game, getting our feet wet a little bit. But now with our, you know, just the knowledge that we have no trying to step it up another level, I like it.
So you have checks for your team? Yeah, well, I've I still haven't gotten a check from the court, so I will work for Ecorp if you give me warrants.
Warrants. Yeah, I'm ready for it. I'm ready to get paid by the highest bidder, which is literally one dollar at this point. That's crazy, though. The ACORN thing, I was reading about it, I actually love that idea. So it's basically for people who don't know, it's a company that when you make a transaction, it rounds up and puts it into an investment. So it pushes younger kids, you know, people in their early 20s to start investing earlier in life.
Yeah. Which is I mean, I don't want to get political, but the baby boomers have stolen all the real estate and money in the world. So it'd be nice if we could get a little some something for ourselves.
How old is your your child right now? Five months. Five months. So with acorns, one of the things that it tricks you almost to savings.
Right, and we have so much change, we just throw it away, the idea is that you go to Starbucks is five dollars and 40 cents. It rounds up 60 cents. And it puts it in a fund where you start to invest in it for you and your savings and you're not even thinking you're doing it for you with your young child. You can put in five dollars a day. And when your child is 61 years old, he would have earned five million dollars.
And that's compounding interest.
That's crazy. That is crazy. I thought you're going to say when he's 61 years old, the earth will be exploding global warming.
But yeah. No, I agree. Yeah, that's a lot of money.
Oh, Kevin, what's what's what's the next step for your shoe line? I don't like your shoes.
Why not? They're the the metal thing in the back. I think it's because I have, like, fucked up ankles, you know, and yeah.
Know is not a good point. That's very basketball, though.
The first time that Kevin and I get to watch football on Sundays, MDMA, I was playing, I was playing like six in the morning down the street just like a regular pickup run. And I had an Instagram story of it. And I think I said, like Paul, his life and having just slid in my dignity, said, get that get that shit out of here. And I was like, yeah, that's probably right. You'd probably puke if you watch me play bass.
I didn't I didn't say it. I didn't say that.
I think you said like, oh, say like, fuck out of here. You get that. Get that. Like, my caught. I was like, fuck out of here. Yeah, fuck out of here. Get off my court or something like that.
No, I say that. I just said fuck out of here. OK, well you don't really you talk a lot of shit about basketball. Oh yeah. Well athletes.
Correct. And I don't mind it, but you I mean, no, I'm not an athlete, you know, he's got to play.
If you're going to talk shit about basketball, at least play a pickup game at least once a month. I play every week.
Then you could talk shit. OK, I love basketball. I do. I play every single Saturday morning. So maybe you come to our runoffs.
How it's done is that indoor outdoor. Indoor nice. I play outdoor to summertime outdoor. Yeah. Summertime outdoor half court. So please a little bit because it's hard part.
Let's stop talking about ankles from mom and dad.
But seriously, Brooklyn Nets Jossi, one of the great businessmen, number two to Jack Ma and Alibaba went to Yale, a brilliant, brilliant investor and operator. What about him and Brooklyn and whether we're going enticed you to come to the great city of Brooklyn with a new owner and definitely excited about basketball and in direction the nets were gone, you know?
So I felt like, you know, having that new energy in organization is only going to be good moving forward. You know, and Joe Side definitely appreciates having players like myself and Kyrie Deere's veteran guys has won championships as he enters into the NBA. You know, I think that's only going to help him out as he as he moves to. So it was a great partnership. Looking forward to actually getting out on the court and playing for the Nets.
But in the meantime, it's been been pretty cool building relationships with everybody in the organization.
I can't wait when you come back because we're going to be in the building. That's going to be exciting. It's awesome. I can give you some Knicks fans. It's going to be in there. Yeah, I'd love to.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Are you when you decide to go the nets. Was it somewhat easy decision.
Yeah. I mean, yeah.
Was pretty fast, you know, because I've been I was thinking about it for a long time. Right.
You know where I want to take my life at this point, not just like free agency, just where I wanted to live, where I wanted to do the next five years of my life, you know, and being in New York City, being around family and friends, you know, Maryland is two and a half hours away.
So my family could come up on a train pretty easily. And being back in the Mecca of basketball, I feel, you know, it was perfect for me. So, you know, it was all that stuff kind of I was thinking about it throughout the whole season and it kind of July first it was like, I'm ready to be done with it.
How much does when you're in free agency, how much is like Jersey colors and team colors play into it?
The black and white played a huge factor. Like that's a cool jersey. Like no offense to some of the other franchises out there, but the black and white played a huge role. There's a couple teams out there that I wouldn't even consider if I were a free agent.
Do you like the new City Edition jerseys?
I do. I like to see edition jerseys. The court color is a little confusing.
It's like looks like it's DeFries Gray, like it's like a mountain west. Like I feel like if I was watching, like, Colorado State play and that's what I was. Yeah, I feel you, but I'll get used to it.
But OK, so it's good to know that they actually that actually does play at least like one percent. You're like I want to at least have cool colors. OK, absolutely. I mean it should be an important question.
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Kevin, I have some friends that went to U t and lived down in Austin and I cannot tell you how much, obviously you know how much you love there. First of all, why you t and why do people love you. It's like you played there yesterday.
I mean Coach Coach Barnes at the time he was the head coach for probably I'm going to say at least ten years. I might be off on that. But he had built a culture there that I that I really was drawn to, you know, from TJ Ford to LaMarcus Aldridge to PJ Tucker to so many guys. I miss him. But he had both a nice culture of like we're developing. You know, we know you're a great player, but it really doesn't matter.
You have to get better as a player. Like, he didn't cater to me. He didn't. He really was the hardest on me. And I took to that because that's how I was raised playing the game, you know.
So, you know, obviously, you know, I wanted to you know, Austin is when I went down there for a visit, I was like, oh, there's no there's no point in me going anywhere else.
But I also want to be so far from from where I grew up that I just wanted to be by myself in an environment with different people, you know. So it was a four hour flight from home. Like people couldn't just drive and pull up to the games. It was just I really felt isolated out there. The what was the best part about it? Did you enjoy playing for the team?
And that excitement at that point? Because we were a young group and, you know, I was a freshman. I was doing things that never been done before and just the excitement around campus. We had just won a national championship in football the year before. So I was like so much going on on campus. The baseball team was solid, so it was just boom and it was booming.
And for sports in Austin was starting to say all sorts stops. Yeah, it was taken off. I was in new buildings go up, you know, every other month I was seeing more people saying, hey, I'm moving down to Austin and visiting. So I go back now. It's just it feels like, you know, you're in San Francisco almost. So, you know, it's it's great to to see how far is coming and to be attached to Texas for the rest of my life is is is pretty sweet, too.
Do you think it's the right move that they're getting rid of the one and done probably at least in the near future?
Most definitely. You know, I think is is is is corrupting the college game, you know, and you forcing these guys who know they should be an NBA go to college. You know, it's not it's not really doing much for these programs to have him there for just a year and ship them out, you know, so it's not really making a college game great.
But, you know, these guys got shot, had to make the choice to to go pro.
And I want if you could if you had the choice when you were deciding, I mean, obviously you didn't have the choice. But if you did have the choice to go into the NBA directly from high school, would you done it?
Yeah, I pretty much had no choice. Right. Coming from nothing, basically. Yeah. You know, you see that in front of you. You got to take it. And it's my job to play in the league, so for sure. Yeah. Yeah, that's interesting.
So, Kevin. Yeah, I know the year you have a great relationship with Adam Silver. Yeah. Who's done a phenomenal job. One of the true great commissioners. Yeah. What the NBA's done is incredible. They really connected with the next generation.
You have over 100 employees, team members on the floor in China.
You have over a five billion dollar business in China. You know, obviously, I love baseball and it's my first love your champion on the court, your champion with philanthropy. Now you're becoming a champion in thirty five ventures. My question is, if you were to be a commissioner of Major League Baseball for just 24 hours, what kind of things would you advise us to move the game forward and make a younger team?
That's tough. I mean, you guys see, I don't know much about the system, obviously, as much as the NBA.
But as a young player, I mean. We got teams for like 18 to 22 year olds in your face of your franchise now is probably 23. So the league is getting younger in general because guys are coming in at that age and in, you know, usually bad teams again, picks out the picks out the picks for the young guys. So it pushes the older guys out, the veteran guys out. And I think that's making our league a little bit more fun, more energetic and more, you know, kid friendly.
And baseball is I don't I don't feel like it's that many that many teams that that has that young energy.
And it's just, I guess, that tradition of how deep the sport is. Yeah.
How many levels you have to get to get through just to make it to the big leagues. And, you know, it's just there eliminate a lot of those minor league teams.
One of the initiatives for Commissioner Rob Manfred is he's making it a little bit leaner and probably faster to get to the major leagues. Oh, that's smart.
Yeah. Yeah, that's I mean, I think, you know, that's what definitely grows the business. It keeps it fresh when you get younger and fresh talent in there at all times, always circulating through. So, you know, you never know who's going to be the next superstar. You want to see the same guys over and over again as a fan, just what's right. So, you know, just making our league younger is definitely, you know, made it more, you know, more kid friendly.
And more people watch it because they they love to see because now you're going to see these guys from eighteen to thirty six. So you're seeing a full life of these guys now and not just one or two players, but like a whole league full of guys. Yes.
Being a guy who grew up in D.C., did you have a little cocktail for the Nationals winning the first championship in 95 years? I was, yeah, for sure. It was crazy.
I we didn't win a home game. That's crazy. But it was amazing to see the reaction to it.
And it was it was a long time coming.
But to have the mystics and the caps, you know, city of champions, district champions got to look behind you, that sure we can watch the Redskins. Come on. We had a city of change. I don't know. That's I mean, I might take you actually might have to buy the Redskins before you buy an NBA team.
I think we got to I think we might as well just go ahead, change our color scheme to the Navy and the red, white and blue. Yes.
What's your favorite sport to watch besides basketball and football? Oh, yeah.
I feel like I get in a new sport every other year. I was really watching baseball, both a package a couple of years ago. I was trying to movie package so many numbers. I had to I know I had to work so many stats. I had to figure out. Yes.
And it was it was definitely time consuming. What about soccer? Have you done that yet? Yeah. OK, yeah. What's your estimate of basketball. Yeah.
It actually is like when you watch it in the movement and the guys making plays that are, you know, like there'll be a build up to a big play that's similar to, you know, moving the ball.
And basketball is a lot of grace that has to be involved when you're playing. Yeah. It's kind of flows like water out there. Yeah.
So then I'm going to give them a few questions I'm interested in, like knowing who has game. And I want you to kind of do a little rapid fire, um, best shooter, natural shooter you've ever played again.
So you can include yourself as natural shooter.
You haven't played with Joe Harris yet. I mean, stuff is the best natural shooter. But like here at the point now that you can't even include him in shooting conversations because it's like he's one and we're going to talk about the rest. But naturally, I would say, like Steve Novak was a great natural shooter, like, that's all he probably did as a kid was shoot about ball handler best handle.
Kyrie Irving best rebounder is a tie between Dennis Rodman and Andre Drummond, best defender Tony Allen and the best clutch money player, Kobe.
I was scared shitless. Kobe late in the game.
Why did you why can't we do some repairs? A nickname.
Why did you not. It wasn't time but this time. Now it is fake. Yes, it's the best nickname of all time.
It wasn't Tom back then. It really is like I think about it more than I should. Probably once a month.
I'm like, damn, I wish Kevin Durant was Slim Reaper. There's something simmering underneath with that. Yeah. Because that's I mean, it's like especially in a late game NBA finals, here comes the Slim Reaper to snatch your soul. Yeah, it's time now.
Back then, it was too good of a nickname for me to just take at that age. That's actually fair. I never thought of it that way. Like when you're 21, it'd probably be tough to be the Slim Reaper.
Yeah, like, I rather wait to see you, like, OK. Did you like the Angela? No. OK, yeah. That one's kind of corny. Yeah, I agree with that.
Kevin, you went to the White House and kind of two. Fifteen, twenty sixteen. Yeah. And I understand there was a private meeting between you and President Obama. Yeah. A anything you can share or is there something about Obama that inspires you, that motivates you. Role model, anything.
We talked about some stuff that how I can help in my community, you know, being from that area. So we talked about different things, different programs that that I can help with. But also there is a huge basketball fan. So at that. Point, I was just going into free agency and everybody in the world wanted to know if I was leaving the Thunder. So that was the first thing he asked, you know, where you going?
It's like you can't you can't go there with those those with those shooters over there too much. I was like in my mind, I was like, that's why I'm going already made up my mind.
Yeah. But now he's he's a huge fan of the game.
And you could tell that he loves watching. Did you if you played with him, would you let him score. No, I played a woman before. Oh, you did. And how is this game?
It was cool, you know.
You know really what? I was twenty one at the time, so I was really nervous to really get into it. And I was it was it was the morning after a long night. So it was you don't want to fight.
I had Secret Service everywhere watching you. Yeah. They definitely had the snipers on the roof. Right. But to play play was what it was though.
Like I've I've seen Obama play and he clearly knows how to play. But there's definitely an element where he's had he's probably put up some numbers that maybe are slightly inflated, definitely, because, I mean, how hard a defense you have right now on the president, right?
I don't think yeah, I don't think your hand checking the president.
So you're at a point in your career where you've pretty much done it all and you've reached an economic level that's as a kid you never dreamed of, as did all of us, really, that we're lucky to be doing this.
My question to you is, at this point in your life, if you were to curate a dinner for five, who will be the other four that you can bring to your dinner?
Obama or. Sort I'm free and I am free, yeah, bring I'm I'm probably my mom's, um. Pam, you put that's a tough one, tough that's a tough one. Elon Musk, he's kind of a fraud, I think.
And Joe Rogan. OK, interesting. That's a good one.
It's good. Makes you don't like Elon Musk. I don't know.
I mean, I feel like he starts a bunch of projects and he never finishes. We think about the new truck been through. Do you see them throw the rock at it? Yeah, but I mean, but he promised me, you know, armored glass and then it broke.
All right. This is a pickup truck. Yeah, I know. I was like, what the hell I was telling you about the stock and you lost money is what happened.
I just want, like, just stick to one thing. Get me to Mars. I want to go to Mars. I want to, like, go to the bottom of the ocean. I don't know. It feels like he just jumps from project to project. He was going to build that like I think he tried to invent. Did he do the Hyperloop too? Yeah. Like what's up with the Hyperloop? We're see that was the Hyperloop. So you can go from East Coast to West Coast.
Right, right. I don't understand how you could do that physically.
That that's what I'm saying.
I want like I feel like every time he starts a project, I get excited about it.
And then all the projects I like, the cars in the flamethrowers, everything is kind of like, yeah, space is like cool. But I want to see something from that. Right.
I want like send someone to Mars, have them like, do you know, a periscope from Mars and then I'll be impressed.
In fact I was so at this dinner we could Yeah. We Joe Rogan and yeah. And I'm like I'm definitely in, I'm all right.
So we're going to wrap up here in a minute. Social media, where are you at with social media these days?
I think you took a turn for a good way where you kind of embrace the fact that, hey, guess what, I'm online. Who cares?
Yeah, I'm at my peak. I still have burners that I use. Oh, really? For sure.
OK, I feel like almost every athlete has a burner. Yeah, I have a burner Twitter account. Still has ever tweeted me. No. OK, see when people use that burner thing against me, I only thought I was on Twitter just to talk shit. I was really indulging in a lot of different communities on my burner.
So right when I deleted it I was like, what the like I met these people really made me delete what I enjoy, which is my burner account.
Right. So I got another one right.
I talk to friends just to kind of do my own thing on the side. You know, I like that, but I'm at my peak and on Twitter, I think a lot of a lot of my followers enjoy my content.
I agree. I like I said, I think the burner not controversy, but like you, having a burner was almost a turning point, whereas like the way you dealt with, you're like, yeah, that was my burner.
I love it. So at first I was like I felt embarrassed. And I was like, after a while I was just like, really? It's just it's just social media.
Right? And now it's kind of fun being like, yeah, Kevin Durant's online. And I actually don't think he cares because I think there was at one point in time there was like a lot of, oh, I'm triggering Kevin Durant and there are a lot of people would say mediums of like you responding to them. Yeah. Being like you got a post system like I he responds to everyone.
So I look at it as if you send me a DM, I must have triggered you somehow. I like that. So if I respond back, I'm just giving you what you want, really. So when you sent me ATM, I must have triggered you. You did? Yeah.
Because I was playing basketball. Exactly. I actually. So back to your shoes real quick. What's the next iteration? The problem with your shoes that I have is that my ankles do suck and I need high tops. So that's the only problem.
Otherwise they're good shoes. Yeah, well we got hot tubs coming in. OK, couple a couple months so size twelve. You know the address here.
Foot Locker down the block up here. So I will be an official Kevin Durant athlete if you need me to.
That might actually work. Yeah, but you guys like you to run it up and down the court. I'm a big time show to shoot the versatile. Yeah. I don't shoot. I pretty much just rebound and set picks play hard defense. I Bellemare. Yeah.
I don't shoot. My game is very simple. It's basically I don't shoot unless I get the rebound myself. Most of the time I still don't shoot because my shot is terrible.
So we'll just keep hoping man is going to come around.
I do love it. Yeah. I mean it's like I'm thirty four so it's not going to come around. You think Bill Simmons plays as much as you know. Not as much anymore. What about Robin Lundberg. Mm. I don't know. I mean I, I honestly do play once a week so.
No I'm just saying do you think other guys in your field play as much as you. Probably not. What about Skip Bayless. You think he plays. No, I mean you go about one more Nick.
Right. I know Nick. I'm friends with Nick. Does he play. I don't think he plays. That's a shame. I don't know. There is an element. I kind of agree. It's a shame. I mean, I'm at least get some shots. I'm admittedly not good at basketball, but I do love playing. And I think it does add an element of it almost is like every time I go out and play, I'm like, oh yeah, I remember how fucking hard this is.
You get close to the game.
Right, right. Talking about playing, I'm just kind of get a little NBA fever here. OK, maybe you're one of the greatest shooters of all time. Yeah. Can you show me first of all, put your hand in this thing. It's like a baseball on you. So I'm gonna show you what I used to do when I was where's a camera?
Get get in here. They're all over the place. So I used to I used to lay on the floor like this watching Martin and when the commercials hit, I used every commercial lay back like this in the studios.
So if you look back like that, I used to just sit there and I just, you know, every time I put the ball up now, I just stuck there. Right. Would you spin it? Would you spin it? I'm just sitting there holding it. And who are you?
Visualize you know, you visualize like Larry Bird. I'm just like, no, it was just to make sure my arm is in that spot at all times position again.
So I'm I'm led all the way down on the floor to sway like nice. So I did that. I did so much.
I'll show you my shot. I mean, all the way is like so and like this. You can't even see the court when. Yeah. You're really going to do that after Kevin.
You guys look like a solid real guts.
Yeah. Yeah. No, listen, when I my shot gets wet every now and then the shot gets wet.
Yes it does. What does that mean. It's just what. Just money. You know what you see. I feel it when it gets. What do you say. Ball's life, you know. OK, yeah.
I need and I always feel so lame saying it, but I love saying it like I get it about life, you know, hoop dreams kind of thing, but not really.
OK, any last questions around you guys.
It's been awesome. Yeah, it has really been awesome. Is there. Thirty one years old, Kevin Durant, world champion MVP. You've done it all. Who is Kevin Durant and what are you doing at the age of forty one to forty five in a perfect world?
I mean that's so hard to say, but I mean I'm at this point just prioritizing my mental health and just making sure I'm just prioritizing peace and whatever comes from that, it comes from that. So, you know, it's a crazy world. We live in plan and plan in professional sports in front of people. So I just realize what I'm doing for and realize who you know, who I'm doing it for. And hopefully by that age, everything is set.
Yeah. In closing and down, I'll let you close.
But I just want to say that I've been a huge fan of what you've done on the court, the way you've conducted yourself with your family, the way your grandmother raised you. And, you know, first of all, God bless. I'll continue to speedy recovery. And I hope you and your partner Rich keep killing it. Thank you. Thirty five years. Yeah.
Kevin, thank you. I've said some things, so it's all my bad. Keep saying no.
Listen, you know, you can be one of those guys that talk shit and then when to go. I still win. When you do things I will say when when you are being a triple B, I will say it.
Hota, what a terrible thing.
That's something we'll talk about that we almost got out of here. We lost our triple. Yeah. We got to talk about that on the next part. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I started, I started a fight between he and CJ McCollum. Really. Yes. Wow.
I was at the center of that and then every other news source just crop me out. It's like, yeah, they're just fighting for no reason. It's like actually it was because of you.
Because of me. Because I'm I'm a jerk online and.
Yeah. Professional troll. Me too. Yeah, exactly. That's why we get along. All right. Well, Kevin, thank you so much. Man Best of luck. We'll talk soon.
All right, brothers.