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WSJ on new Nets' star Kevin Durant: choosing Brooklyn was easy (and he may live in DUMBO)

The Wall Street Journal magazine 9/10/10 published a long feature, Kevin Durant's New Headspace, with the subheading that suggests the scope:
The Nets new star is focused on his recovery and elated to be coming to Brooklyn—so can everyone stop worrying about whether or not he's happy? "We talk about mental health a lot. We only talk about it when it comes to players. We need to talk about it when it comes to executives, media, fans."
It's an interesting read (by J.R. Moehringer) about an interesting guy, with relatively few Brooklyn mentions.

An apartment in DUMBO?

First, he may live in DUMBO:
Team Durant's plan is for him to hole up here all summer, then transition to his new home in New York City soon after Labor Day. He's flying east tonight to look at a few places. Friends have urged him to consider Manhattan, but Dumbo, he thinks, might be more his speed. He wants high ceilings, a sick view, proximity to the Nets practice gym. He lives for a gym, prides himself on rolling out of bed straight into practice. "I don't wear matching clothes…I don't wash my face, I don't brush my hair. I just come in there and go to work."
The Nets, according to not-so-specific reports, tend to live in Downtown Brooklyn and the Gowanus area, both with better access to the Nets' training center in Sunset Park. DUMBO isn't all that far--though the streets can get clogged.

An easy decision

It's remarkable, as has been reported before, how the Nets didn't need to cajole Durant, that the notion that he'd team up with friend and fellow star Kyrie Irving, plus the other advantages--media capital, East Coast location closer to his family, team culture--that almost went unspoken.

So, in contrast to the 2016 free-agent pageant in which Durant and his manager Rich Kleiman "welcomed a procession of lobbying delegations from various teams" at a mansion in the Hamptons:
This time around, shortly before the start of free agency, Kleiman met Durant for lunch at Cipriani, a chic restaurant in SoHo, and gave him one last overview of all the teams and all his options. Durant said: "All right. Well. I'm going with Brooklyn." Just like that.
Kleiman was taken aback: For real? Yes, Durant said. End of discussion.
...Durant says his decision-making process was as simple on the inside as it looked from the outside. Brooklyn was the right fit; he just knew. He didn't even speak to the Nets before his decision, he says. He didn't need a PowerPoint. He's always felt big love as a visiting player at Barclays Center, he says, and he wondered what it might be like if he were on the home team. Plus, the Nets offered the opportunity to join his "best friend in the league," Kyrie Irving.
That's interesting, because the Nets don't--or didn't--have a particularly robust fanbase, but... there are enough serious basketball fans in Brooklyn and New York to pack the house for the Warriors and players like Durant.

Perhaps he envisioned recreating that every game--and perhaps that will happen. Stay tuned to assess Durant's recovery from injury and the team's evolution (or re-shaping).

Comments

  1. Here's another under appreciated aspect to his signing: Kevin Durant sells more gear --sneakers, etc.-- in China than in North America. And the Nets were just sold to the EVP and co-founder of the biggest e-commerce company in China and a member of the NBA China board of directors. I don't know how it relates, but I can't see how long-term it won't relate.

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