Though two-thirds of Texas University's basketball team is made up of freshmen, 23-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant is more or less perched generationally right inside the makeup of the Longhorns roster. Which is why the good chunk of time Durant has recently spent amongst Rick Barnes' youthful crew hasn't seemed all that out of place, especially with Kevin locked out by the NBA during its labor negotiations.
Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger has a cool piece on the return of Durant to the college campus he spent 2006-07 working in, detailing his role with the Longhorns. A role that, uneasily to me at least, includes him conversing with players on the bench during games.
Get rid of that uneasiness with KD, KD, because Barnes and the players initially appear to have no problem with Durant's in-game advice. From the Star-Ledger:
"It's great," added J'Covan Brown, who finished with 25 points [Saturday] night.
"We don't think of him being an NBA player, he's around all the time," Brown said. "We wish he'd get away and get back to work. But he's here to help us and whatever he tells us, we listen."
(And if Barnes, who isn't quoted in the piece, does have an issue with Durant actually straying into the Texas huddle during timeouts? Well, you're free to use the "we wish he'd get away and get back to work" line from Brown whenever you want.)
Durant seems to be taking to his role:
"Yeah I think they relate to it a little bit more because I'm still a player myself," Durant said. "Coming from a teammate you kind of hear it more, analyze it more. Any chance I get to pull them to the side that's what I try to do."
Also, flag football. That's also what he tries to do.