GQ‘s annual Men of the Year issue is here, and it features Kevin Durant as GQ’s Champion of the Year, along with Colin Kaepernick (Citizen of the Year), Stephen Colbert (Bad Hombre of the Year), and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman of the Year). All four winners get their very own covers, which we’ve included here for your viewing pleasure.
In the issue, Durant opened up to Zach Baron while in India, and later in the Bay Area, and posed for a photo spread by Nathaniel Goldberg. Immediately, he gets into respect for LeBron and winning the NBA Finals. “That was the best moment I ever had,” he says of sinking a decisive three-pointer with under a minute left in Game 3. “I made the game-winning shot in the finals against my fucking idol.”
Durant discusses leaving Oklahoma City. “I chose to take control of my life,” he says. “I think that was a huge step for me personally, and I felt really proud.” The Finals MVP admits to struggling to adjust to the fame and media and hype. He wasn’t a high school phenom, like LeBron, or from a family with stability and basketball history, like Steph. Oklahoma City was a quiet place. Celebrities didn’t show up to games. With his move to the Warriors, all eyes were on him, and it sometimes took a personal toll.
“Rihanna never came to my game before, unless we were in LA. She didn’t come to a home game of mine before. Jay-Z and all these people who come…that amount of attention for me is like, you ever seen Hancock?” He recalls the 2008 anti-hero superhero film starring Will Smith. “You remember when he had to walk into that event and all these cameras were flashing, and he didn’t know how to smile? That’s me sometimes. I get a little overwhelmed at that shit. Because, man, I can remember me cooking up as a kid by myself. Now millions of people are watching me play? That’s an adjustment, bro.”
The weight of being a star is heavy on Durant’s shoulders, but his teammates help. “Steph Curry is the face of the franchise, and that helps me out, because I don’t have to,” the MVP says. “I don’t want to have to be the leader. I’m not a leader…I don’t mind being on the front line with you, but let’s come and do it together.”
Despite any insecurity with fame, Durant knows his worth on the court, and he sees himself as LeBron’s equal. “He’s four years older than me, so he’s still the big homie. But I’m on the same level as a basketball player.” To LeBron he says: “Off the court, I can learn a thing from you. But as a basketball player, I feel like it’s 1A, 1B. And that’s an accomplishment for me.”
In summary, Durant looks back on his chaotic year and feels good. “It feels like…it’s a weird year,” he says. “It is weird. But I still had fun. Right? You can have a weird year and still have fun.”
The full Kevin Durant feature can be found HERE.
The 2017 GQ Men of the Year issue is on stands now. Which cover will you be picking up?