By all accounts, Kevin Durant is what one might call a "student of the game", someone who appreciates the history of the game and has reverence for those who came before him to pave the way for the humongous pay day he's about to enjoy.
So you have to figure Jerry West's words mean something to a guy like Durant, who is about as humble a superstar who we'll ever have the privilege to watch play professional sports. And as Durant makes the biggest decision of his career to date, a phone call with The Logo only adds to the expectation that he's seriously considering bolting the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors.
NBA source: Kevin Durant had a phone conversation with Warriors exec Jerry West yesterday.— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 3, 2016
There are a lot of things Durant could want to talk to West about, from loyalty to a team (West played his entire career with the L.A. Lakers) to the thrill of victory after falling short. Thankfully, ESPN's Chris Broussard followed up Kawakami's report with more details, including a personal story of regret that could very well resonate with Durant.
West spoke to Durant from the perspective of an all-time great player who kept falling short of winning an NBA championship. Although West won a title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972, he lost in his first seven trips to the NBA Finals and finished 1-8 in the Finals overall. West, 78, told Durant those losses still eat at him to this day, according to sources.
With Durant's final meeting with the Thunder earlier today, it's really hard not to read this as Durant trying to follow-up with someone in the know about the Warriors to get a better idea if they're the franchise he wants to join. Hopefully West's approach of not trying to sell Durant on anything but just being someone he could talk hoops with worked.
KD vetting Mr. #LightYears obv https://t.co/0M6HR28pNA— feltbot (@feltbot) July 3, 2016
One reason OKC folks should be nervous about Durant phone chat with GSW advisor Jerry West: The Logo closed the deal for Shaq-to-LA in '96.— Ailene Voisin (@ailene_voisin) July 3, 2016
For more on the free agency decision everyone is waiting for, check out our Kevin Durant free agent rumors storystream.
Article updated at 8 p.m. PST with the Broussard story.