Photos by JV Rabano
Fresh off a repeat championship run with the Golden State Warriors, and his 2nd Finals MVP in a row, Kevin Durant is at the peak of his game. His entire career’s been a rollercoaster ride, and has placed him up top in the same discussion as our modern greats. With the season and playoffs over, he’s been travelling around, sharing his new basketball philosophy and debuting the 11th reiteration of his signature shoe.
Our all-star scorer started his day in BGC’s Nike Park Fort; welcoming him was a festive drum line and a colorful show of jeepneys. Droves and droves of KD’s fans showed up just to get a glimpse. He answered a few questions in the open event, sharing what it means to never fold or compromise your hard work and dedication to go further and higher.
“I’m just right in it. It’s too far to look back, too far to know what’s gonna happen in the future. I’m just trying to stay in the moment.”
Durant then headed to his likeliness’ Nike Hyper Court in Makati to meet a number of young ballers and impart his experience and knowledge playing against the best of our age. He showed off his own moves, especially his signature one-legged fadeaway jumper inspired by Dirk Nowitzki.
He also mentioned how as of late, he’s seen his life as a movie, riding up and down, and experiencing a lot of things for the first time. When asked which part of his personal biopic he’s in, he stated that “I’m just right in it. It’s too far to look back, too far to know what’s gonna happen in the future. I’m just trying to stay in the moment.”
KD mentioned that there weren’t any particular new moves, no new stepback or hesi pull-up jimbo — just sharpening his tools and finding how to make his team even better. Surely, after their back-to-back championship run, the word three-peat enters the conversation, but he and the Warriors aren’t concerned with that talk. “We gotta worry about every single day, each game on at a time.” Said KD, more concerned with the step-by-step grind than the Larry O’Brien trophy itself.
Nike senior designer Leo Chang also came on to go into the new KD11, which is the 3rd KD signature shoe to feature Flyknit. Aside from the return of the plush Flyknit upper, some new features include a full-length Zoom unit, married with the latest React foam for total comfort and a secure ride. The shoe releases in two colourways: a black and white, icy soled Still KD, and a hot pink and coral laden fluorescent Peach Jam.
Simply having a signature shoe already plays a big deal to Durant, being held in the same breath as fellow greats with iconic lines. “It means so much. To be in the same category as Kobe, Michael Jordan, and Lebron, it means a lot.” Considering that only the best of the best get pushed with their signature shoe lines, and go for eleven years and counting, continuing to develop with aesthetic and tech, an eleventh shoe is indeed a milestone.
Kevin Durant is one gritty man, and wants us all to live out his way of ball and life: rise, grind, shine, again.
The Slim Reaper ended his day on a high note for the Nike KD Hyper Court Team All-Star Challenge, where he teamed up with a number of up-and-coming ballers to go against a UAAP All-Star team, featuring the likes of Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, and Paul Desiderio. It was a crazy series of three point shootouts, flashy passing, and high flying alley-oops. The defense wasn’t as tight as a typical game, but it was loads of fun for all the players to even be on the same court as Kevin Durant.
We don’t know what the future holds for one of the greatest scorers of our generation, but one thing’s for sure. Kevin Durant is one gritty man, and wants us all to live out his way of ball and life: rise, grind, shine, again.