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Kevin Durant: Hookah Gate?

KD Caught Smoking in a Hookah Lounge

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The star forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder has gained attention from the media for something other than his on-the-court slam dunks and his off-the-court humanitarian work. Kevin Durant enjoys smoking the hookah.

The sweetheart of the NBA has been spotted out and about recently at hookah lounges. It is obvious from his demeanor that he doesn't mind who catches his actions on film, nor should he. Durant is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world with an Olympic gold medal and three NBA scoring titles under his belt.

According to some news outlets, Kevin has let the public into his personal life as of late and apparently that is news to the rest of the world. Durant has always been personal as well as personable, at least as it is recognized by the residents of Oklahoma. His presence and heartfelt commitment to a state and organization is felt by every Oklahoman. Kevin kicking back and smoking a hookah isn't a big deal for even the most conservative of citizens.

Many parents of little sports fans are wondering how they explain a hookah and Kevin Durant in the same sentence. Children who are fans usually see the upside of the athlete: the game, the win, and the rush of seeing their favorite player run the court. The Internet and the television never edit what players do in their downtime. It's a precarious position for all parents. Think about Michael Vick -- a hookah never seemed less dangerous.

A hookah is nothing but a water-pipe used to smoke flavored tobacco. It's clean, fresh, and doesn't emit the smoke of cigarette or cigar. Parents and fans have no need to worry about Kevin Durant becoming a miscreant. He has branched out to show that he isn't afraid to take chances, to have fun, and be a young guy who enjoys his time away from the court. Metta World Peace he is not.

At the end of the day, a hookah never hurt anyone. KD is a personality in his own right as an athlete, but we also cannot forget that he is also a human being who has a bit of relaxing to do before he hits the courts for a very long season. KD's hookah using is much ado about nothing and will fade into the background ever so gently.

The most important thing to remember is that Durant will give us the same thrills, same No. 1 finger in the air after a 3-pointer, and same brilliant smile. Explain the hookah to your children, know that they can still be his best fan, and go grab some tickets to watch KD in action.

Kylie Earls resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma and has covered the OKC Thunder games in print and television.

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