Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career

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Leonard and Durant are the biggest dominoes that will fall sometime after the free-agent window opens Sunday evening — unless, of course, neither ends up falling elsewhere and decide to stay put for now. And that is what the math says both of them would be wisest to do. Push for Kawhi Leonard to sign with Clippers moves to billboards.

In the summer of , after Leonard completes his 10th year in the league, he goes from being able to command 30 per cent of a salary cap to 35 per cent of a salary cap. That five per cent is going to be a lot of money. He is his own person. The basketball stuff still matters. No matter how much Durant and Leonard have in the bank, they cannot buy championship rings. They will still have Stephen Curry and, probably, Klay Thompson — provided he re-signs, as is expected.

Kevin Durant is the NBA's best player, but the Warriors are way more fun without him

While I personally disagree with this notion since he should be entitled to make his own personal and fiscal decisions without receiving public backlash like the rest of us, this will never change. What should change, however, is how we approach the professional athlete who has gained new perspective, specifically after sustaining a career-threatening injury. Many people may forget that Kevin Durant went through the most difficult patch of his basketball career during the season, playing just 27 games and undergoing three surgeries of his right foot.

Prior to this, Durant had not experienced an injury of this magnitude in his athletic career. It was only until May 24 of this year in an article by Sports Illustrated did Durant open up. Will I be who I am? Unlike many of the other young superstars in the league, Durant has had to contend with the fragility of his athletic career. Many individuals under the age of 30 are guilty as it is for ignoring their own mortality, let alone gifted ones who have channeled their talents into a professional livelihood.

For most people, the timeline for healing from foot fracture is not a matter of life or death, but for the professional athlete whose career depends on it, the distinction is not as clear. While these athletes experienced different injuries with different outcomes, such injuries take a toll on the confidence of elite athletes. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.

Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. And he started asking the types of existential questions you can see only once your existence has been fundamentally altered. Guys still do endorsement deals, but now it's not about endorsements, it's about, how do I own equity? How do I get a 10 multiple on what my investment is? In the past two decades, the best athletes have fundamentally changed the business of sports in much the same way Jay-Z and Diddy changed the music industry.

Why let the record label own your songs -- or your agents control your image -- when you can produce, distribute and own them yourself? It happened organically at first. Then the Warriors took it to a new level. Players such as Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry started getting chummy with the venture capitalists and digerati who drove up from Silicon Valley to sit courtside at Warriors games. By the time the team went to the Hamptons to pitch Durant on joining as a free agent in , the opportunity to immerse in the Bay Area's vibrant business scene was a major selling point.

We're gonna embrace your interests,'" Iguodala says of how the team talked to Durant. So we can help out in any way possible, and we got an ownership who feels the same way. Joe Lacob, Warriors owner and venture capitalist, says he does whatever he can to create a culture that encourages personal growth and exploration. But I always knew that in my second life -- I wanted to have a whole other business life, because it reinvigorates you," Lacob explains. So I left completely from the VC industry and went to do this full time.

And hopefully by the time your first career has reached a normal logical end point, then you're ready to dive in and do it in a big way.

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That's what happened for me. That's what these guys should do too. They're not gonna be experts in investing while they're players, but they can be learning. And learning from meeting top people, learning from a few investments. So that by the time they're done, hopefully they're ready to take the next step, make that into a second life. Ask Durant what he wants to be doing in his second life, after his playing career ends, and he sounds a bit like Phil Jackson. Or living on the slopes. I don't know what I could be doing. I just like what I'm setting up for myself now -- something sustainable.

At 30 years old, he has a lot more basketball to play, and huge decisions about where he'll spend the rest of his career still to make. But before he gets to that center's opening ceremony, he needs to make a stop.

Golden State’s Kevin Durant: ‘The time is now’ — The Undefeated

It's nearly 4 p. So as Durant and his team head from the Warriors' swanky team hotel in Georgetown to Prince George's County, his caravan of SUVs pulls over at a convenience store for a croissant and some candy. No matter how far Durant travels in life, the sweet tooth comes with him. As a kid growing up on these streets, Durant would often stop at the McDonald's where his brother worked and fill up his water cup with Sprite. On this day, he's telling that story to the first group of children who will be supported by the Durant Center.

Make it your home. Durant had been wanting to expand his charitable giving in the same way he'd expanded his business portfolio. Just a handful of media entities were invited to the opening of the learning center, and he sent all of them away when he met privately with a small group of the 59 students in the inaugural class, who will participate in after-school tutoring, summer programs and personal development workshops throughout high school and even college. You're waking up in the struggle still.

The Full Superstar Duel: Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James In NBA Finals 2017

He looks around the gym at Suitland High, where he attended ninth grade. It is packed with people who knew him then, or like to claim they did. A group of high schoolers follows him everywhere, hoping for advice -- or maybe just a selfie. He seems to be making an effort to connect with each person reaching out, even if it's just a quick interaction.

It wasn't so long ago that he was too afraid to approach Jay-Z in his dressing room, too shy to ask for advice -- or maybe just a selfie. Sometimes the barriers to entry are self-made.

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If he can help others find their confidence, that feels important. It is both dizzying and inspiring -- the culmination of 30 years of work and self-discovery but also a first attempt at shaping a legacy. But something's going to bring us together.

For Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant, the move is to stay put

Maybe it's here. Subscribe today! ESPN 0 0 0. It feels a bit quaint now, even to them.

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Aww, friendship tattoos. How cute! She spent seven years at the Los Angeles Daily News. Welcome to Bron Bron Land. James Dolan unplugged. Inside Kyrie's bag of tricks.

Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career
Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career
Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career
Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career
Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career
Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career Kevin Durant-The Superstars Life and Career

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