Back in December, Nike launched one of Wieden + Kennedy's more humorous recent campaigns. The campaign is an attempt to convince us that Kevin Durant is not nice despite the fact that he's totally nice. It seeks to differentiate the player from the person. The campaign trumps up KD's off-court decency while trying to convince that on the court KD is as nasty as Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony or any other deadly scorer.
But it's a lie, and Wednesday showed us why. Durant earned the first ejection of his career as the Thunder lost to the Nets, losing his cool on a pretty standard moving screen call.
My first thought: Dang, Nike is really going all out on this campaign. They even convinced KD to be not nice for one night!
But here's the truth: KD is nice. An ejection and a four-letter word wouldn't be notable otherwise. If the world noticed every time any NBA player -- no, athlete -- was caught cursing on camera, this website would be called F.U. Nation. (I'm going to keep that pitch in my back pocket.) This moment captured above is so utterly un-KD that it appears more an exception that proves the rule than some deeper truth about Durant's spirit.
All it shows is that KD is human. Humans get frustrated. Frustration is a gateway drug to anger. In pro sports, with the heavy air of pressure, high expectations for perfection and all the human error that is unavoidable, that anger boils over into F-bombs quite frequently. Even angels succumb once in a while.