When the clock strikes midnight and Thursday turns into Friday, the NBA's current collective bargaining agreement will expire. It's a huge story around the NBA right now, because that moment will signal the beginning of a lockout that could stretch deep into the fall and winter to shorten, or possibly even cancel, the regular season.
The players' union, including all officers and team representatives, is currently working hard to figure out proposals that can avoid this worst-case scenario while also providing members with a solid set of rules for a new CBA. It's a tough job that requires attention, commitment, and solidarity.
Durant's week started with a stop in Chicago and he'll next head to Austin, Texas, for another camp Friday and Saturday. Before long, he'll be making a trip to China for the second straight summer.
All of that takes time away from his duties as Oklahoma City's union representative. He even said he "lost track of time" and didn't realize the CBA was set to run out so soon.
"With me being so wrapped up in this and doing the things I had to do this summer, I didn't have the chance to really go to the meetings and sit down and really know how things are going," Durant said.
It makes sense that Durant would be interested in building his media brand and doing outreach events: he's a young superstar looking to increase his marketing foothold and every public event helps him achieve those goals. But that's also a reason why most stars aren't player reps -- their concerns, while important, aren't the same as the majority of union members.
To put it another way, it's entirely possible that if CBA negotiations go in a direction that leads to the max-salary level being lowered, it would be in Durant's best interest to forget about union duties and focus on building his brand in a way that increases endorsement opportunities. On the other hand, a role player's finances will be affected by every negotiation, from the max level to the hard cap to the length of contracts.
That's not to say that all superstars are bad union reps -- it's entirely possible that someone would put the interest of the many above his own and fight for his teammates' and colleagues' well-being. However, as Durant's lack of motivation indicates, that can be a tall order.