Sporting News came out with its list of the “50 most influential people in sports,” and Kevin Durant made the cut.
The Golden State Warriors superstar and former Longhorn comes in at No. 46, according to the publication. That makes him the third-most influential active basketball player, behind only LeBron James and Durant’s new teammate, Stephen Curry.
Durant is in esteemed company, just ahead of New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and right behind Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari.
Here’s what Sporting News had to say about Durant, who recently decided to leave Oklahoma City behind in hopes of chasing titles in Oakland:
“Some people aren’t happy about him going to Golden State, but I don’t think the backlash will remain.”Eric Schiffer
In the nine years since his lone season at Texas (2006-07), Durant averaged 27.4 points per game for the Thunder, becoming the face of the expansion franchise after its move from Seattle. He won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2014, and helped Oklahoma City to its first and only NBA Finals appearance in 2012.
Along the way he’s been an ambassador for the University of Texas and Nike, with plans made for the Longhorns to start wearing his brand on the court.
Durant been busy the past few months since his decision, guiding Team USA to Olympic gold in Rio. He still had time for a stop on the 40 Acres earlier this month, watching the Texas football team beat UTEP.
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