OAKLAND — Kevin Durant is feeling at home in the Bay Area.
He spent the days leading up to the 2016-17 season, which tips off tomorrow with the Golden State Warriors hosting San Antonio, touring San Francisco and Oakland.
Coordinated by Nike, Durant took photos in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, inside Amoeba Music and on BART.
He then appeared at the Kanye West show at Oracle Arena on Sunday night. Dubs fans cheered when he made his entrance into the venue. They absolutely lost it when he joined the masses in the mosh pit.
From the outside, it seems Durant’s new life is mirroring his new coach’s offensive system.
“There’s a little chaos, but there’s some pattern to the chaos, and he’s embracing the chaos for sure,” Kerr said describing his movement-laden philosophy.
Durant’s assimilation to life as a Warrior, both on and off the court, appears to be going swimmingly.
And why wouldn’t it? Durant isn’t your typical former MVP capable of averaging 30 points per game. When asked years ago to give himself a nickname, he said he prefered to be called “The Servant.”
It didn’t stick, for obvious reasons, but the answer did indicate a lot about KD’s character, which is decidedly humble — regardless of what those in his old market might think about him.
When Durant joined the masses at the West show, Kanye told him he saw him from the suspended stage above the crowd and that there was no celebrities allowed in the mosh pit.
KD said Monday he didn’t hear the iconic rapper address him, but even if he did, he wouldn’t take heed to the rule he just laid out.
“I’m not a celebrity anyways,” Durant explained.
Most would disagree with that assessment. But as long as he sees himself that way, I can’t foresee a reason why he won’t thrive in Kerr’s system.
He’ll have a heck of a challenge right out of the gate as the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard is primed to guard Durant, who has traditionally struggled against the Defensive Player of the Year. But the foundation for incredible team success is more built out than in any other year in KD’s career.
Life is looking to be a lot easier for Durant these days. No longer does he have to travel hours to Dallas to see one of his favorite rappers perform. Gone are the days of forcing up tough jump shots in a stagnated offense. The future for Durant is incredibly exciting, but as is his nature, he’s not going to play that up vocally.
“It’s just the first game,” he said at practice, ignoring that he is about to embark on one of the most heavily scrutinized seasons in NBA history.
But leave the criticism to the other arenas and opposing players. While Durant is here, Kerr wants to extend a “fun” atmosphere that allows for a beautiful symphony of offensive basketball.
“That whole experience was something I’ve never felt before. Happy I got a chance to go,” Durant said on Monday.
He was talking about the Kanye concert. But it wouldn’t be far-fetched to one day hear him reflect on his time on the Warriors in a similar fashion.
Anything can happen in pro sports. Championships are never guaranteed. But at the very least, it should make for an entertaining show at Oracle.