Kevin Durant Returns To Texas For KD9 Launch Experience
Kevin Durant had some Texans and media members pretty excited over the last 48 hours. Don’t worry Thunder fans, he wasn’t in Texas to meet with Coach Pop and former Longhorn LaMarcus Aldridge. No, the former Texas Longhorn legend was 80 miles away from the Alamo and tasty churros in the beautiful and “weird” city of Austin to eat some Stubb’s BBQ, swat little kid’s shots into the stands at his annual basketball camp, host an awesome launch party for his new KD9 sneakers – with flyknit technology so he doesn’t have to still be “jealous” of Kobe – and let the media and a group of sneaker bloggers know why he gets paid millions to shoot a ball and they (myself included) do not.
On Tuesday morning, Nike took that select group of media members to Gregory gym on the UT campus to try out the new KD9 sneakers, on the court, in a game of 5-on-5 (and try to survive without tearing something).
What we didn’t know was UT Coach Shaka Smart was waiting in the gym to put us through some serious basketball drills. If that wasn’t a big enough surprise, KD then crashed practice and without stretching or warming-up, connected on about 10 consecutive shots. Smart then had KD demonstrate a 3-point shooting drill.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 21, 2016
After watching KD create more swish sounds in 2 minutes than everybody else in the gym in 2 hours, KD showed off his 1-foot fadeaway jumper – made famous by one of his all-time favorite players: Dirk Nowitzki – in a “you have no chance at guarding me” one-on-one drill with a UT staff member.
The media then had their shot at impressing KD and Smart and let’s just say Smart wasn’t handing out scholarships afterwards.
Besides handing out a few buckets, KD also handed out the KD9s and some Nike gear to 9 lucky students who saw his treasure-hunter tweet saying he was in the building and the first 9 to show up would get a pair of his shoes. Within 9 minutes, there was a line of fans and faces smushed against every window of the gym. KD gladly shook hands, took pics and signed autographs with many of the students.
Yeah, KD is nice. On and off the court…despite what some of the non-invited media will tell you.
Here’s a timeline of the Nike KD9 Launch experience including interviews with KD, his former roommate/teammate Justin Mason, KD9 designer Leo Chang and videos by members of the media, who don’t plan on quitting their day job anytime soon.