Andrew Gilman

When Kevin Durant returns to Oklahoma City he’ll be validated

When Kevin Durant returns to Oklahoma City he’ll be validated

Kevin Durant just might be the best basketball player in the world.

He’s won a pair of NBA championships, scoring titles, won MVP and a Finals MVP. He’s won awards for his community service and been a successful pitchman, too.

But here’s what Kevin Durant isn’t: Validated.

At least that’s what he thinks. The rest of us, even the most-hardened, angry-at-KD-because-he-left-OKC fans, recognize Durant lacks very little when it comes to his achievements. Now, some might suggest, or argue, his accomplishments are somewhat hollow, considering he joined a team that was ready made for a title. Regardless of your feelings toward KD, we all can agree Durant is a supreme basketball talent.

But his talents and accomplishments aren’t good enough. KD doesn’t feel validated, because how else to describe his inane online behavior, his constant social media bickering, his complete awkwardness in his own skin. If he was comfortable with himself, like perhaps the best basketball player in the world should be, he wouldn’t be online arguing. He’d be quiet and leave the rest of us to our own issues and bickering about why he left Oklahoma City.

And all of that is why the rumor of KD returning to Oklahoma City after this season has legs. Recently NBA reporter Chris Mannix of Yahoo suggested as much, giving some weight to the frequent conversations around the barbershop or water cooler that had been reserved for pretty much the state of Oklahoma.

But there’s life to this talk, mainly because KD continues to resuscitate it. And why would KD continue to do such a thing? Because he wants – desperately needs – approval. So he’s out there wondering how and why people could possibly be upset with his decision to join a 73-win team. He won’t let it go, so we can’t let it go.

He simply, he wants to be loved. By everyone. All of the time.

Not realistic, of course, considering the fact that anyone at the top of his or her profession, will always have detractors and enemies, but for KD, and the way he left Oklahoma City, you know that he knows Oklahoma City means enough to him that he needs to fight with pre-teens online and go on a national podcast and associate Oklahoma City, with “home.”

LeBron James left his hometown and returned and with it created a cottage industry of players and siren song of returning home. We’ve heard about Paul George wanting to go to Los Angeles. Same with Kawhi Leonard. To think, Durant doesn’t want affection at the national level, erasing the villain tag, too, is silliness. Of course he does.

That’s what he always has wanted, and that’s why he continues to lash out, act hurt, post away and argue with anyone and everyone that he, after all, is a good guy, trying to convince everyone he’s not so bad.

But we know what he is – awkward. Now, we don’t know who he really is beyond that, but we do know he’s not comfortable in his own skin. He never has been. And that’s why it’s not if, but when, he’ll come back to Oklahoma City.

Durant wants to be liked and this is the best way to make sure it will happen.

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