For somebody suddenly anointed as the best player in the NBA, surprisingly few people probably know the answer to that question, and Durant isn't looking to go out of his way to change that — literally. Instead, Durant wants companies to come to him.
"I don't want to sound like a prima donna. But if companies want to come out here and be a part of what I have going on, they're going to have to come to Oklahoma City," he told NewsOK.com.
Durant may be endorsing the likes of Nike, Gatorade and EA Sports, but his profile still seems surprisingly low. You can blame it on the fact that he plays in Oklahoma City, but playing in Cleveland never stopped LeBron James from being a megastar and money machine. The argument that he needs to be in New York or Los Angeles just doesn't totally hold water.
Instead, one of Durant's biggest strength's may be his real problem — as far as becoming the superstar that most NBA alpha dogs are. He's too good of a guy.
His agent, Aaron Goodwin, described him in the glowing terms that many others have also given him, but they aren't totally on point.
"He's got a great personality, he stands for what's right and people love him," said Goodwin.
"He's a genuine kid and they're hitching their boats to him. And people love authenticity," he added.
Durant, though, is totally focused on basketball.
"I didn't get into the game of basketball just to get endorsements," Durant said. "I always want to put basketball first and that's what I'm doing. And stuff is starting to come my way now."
Add it all up and who does Durant sound just like?
Tim Duncan — unselfish, humble, focused, content with a small market, arguably the best player in the NBA — and Duncan never had the number of endorsements "come his way" that his play would have justified.
Simply put, being an NBA megastar is about seeking out the spotlight. You don't have to be in a huge market (it helps), but you have to want attention, to be a celebrity, to be an entertainer.
LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Steve Nash are all clear case studies in such, and while most find the former two controversial and the latter two likable, there is one more humble, understated NBA megastar who has managed to maintain an understated image while becoming a celebrity — Dwyane Wade.
Wade may not actively seek attention like the four aforementioned stars, but he's surely no Duncan either. He shows his passion with his actions on the court, and his image off the court is cool but low key. It all adds up to quite the healthy endorsement package — including being the face of the Jumpman23 brand.
Durant may never be a Shaq or LeBron, but he could add a little "passion" and "cool" to the way he presents himself. Everybody respects humble and understated, but if Durant wants companies to come to Oklahoma City, he'll have to give them a little more D-Wade and a little less Tim Duncan.
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