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LAS VEGAS -- The family vacation was planned months in advance. Marlon Humphrey Jersey . As soon as free agency was over, DeAndre Jordan was heading to a resort in Jamaica where -- theoretically -- he would put his phone in airplane mode, surround himself with family and friends, and all the noise would stop.That was the plan, anyway.If you followed NBA free agency in the slightest last July, you know what actually happened. Three days after committing to the Dallas Mavericks, Jordan had a stunning change of heart and returned to the Los Angeles Clippers.In the time it took to fill out a customs form on the flight to Jamaica, Jordan became a villain in Dallas, an accidental hero in Los Angeles and the butt of jokes on late-night talk shows, social media and sports talk radio.He tried to keep his phone off, but there was no escaping the fallout.One day as he was sitting on the beach, he got a text from Kevin Durant. Theyd been close since high school when Durant tried to persuade Jordan to attend the University of Texas with him. Jordan instead chose Texas A&M, so they drifted apart for a few years. Eventually they reconnected during summer workouts. And in the past few years, theyd grown much closer. So close, in fact, that the Mavericks hoped landing Jordan in free agency would give them an edge in the Durant sweepstakes the following summer.Durant said his message to Jordan was simple: I just let him know, Man, whatever you do. Youve got people that love you.It was the kind of thing you say to a friend to let him know you cant make things better for him, but youre still in his corner.I feel like the people who talked to me afterwards are my real friends, Jordan said this week, after a training session with Team USA. The people who stopped texting me afterwards, the ones who said stuff like were family and all that while I was deciding, that wasnt real. I realize it was only a basketball decision for them.You find out who is really on your side. And Kevin was like, Man, you cant worry about what other people think. Youve got to worry about you and what makes you happy.Fast-forward a year and Durant is the one who spent his summer in the middle of a free-agency squall and made a stunning decision that brought withering criticism from fans, peers and media critics.No, he didnt commit to one team and then renege a few days later. But after eight years of telling the fans in Oklahoma City that he loved them and wanted to retire there, his departure for the Golden State Warriors came as a cruel shock.Had he misled them all those years? Did he fall out of love? Or was his love never that pure to begin with?Durant felt all of it. If hes being honest, knowing how much he was about to hurt the fans in Oklahoma City was one of the things that nearly held him back from following his gut and signing with the Warriors. For 48 hours after picking the Warriors, he said he stayed inside the house hed rented in the Hamptons while receiving free-agent pitches from the Warriors, Celtics, Spurs, Clippers, Thunder and Heat.I didnt leave my bed, because I was like, Man, if I walk outside somebody might just try to hit me with their car or say anything negative to me, Durant said. I just stayed in and tried to process it all. ... It felt different.Very different.Durant hasnt been the boyish, backpack-wearing homegrown superstar most people first came to know him as for a while now. First he went through the KD is not nice phase where he was like a child star trying to break out of a wholesome, prepubescent box by releasing a song about being naughty (See: Selena Gomez, Britney Spears, Justin Bieber).Then he started copping an occasional attitude at the media for perceived slights to him, his teammates or any player in the NBA who he thought was getting unfair treatment.But there was always something about Durants defiance that felt a little forced. Like he was just pushing boundaries or asserting his independence from the nice-guy image that had gone way too far and escaped reality a long time ago.He is nice. Hes just not the saint people projected him to be.For example: Last fall he turned down a half-dozen requests for an ESPN The Magazine story. Hed decided to stay silent until he could explain his feelings about free agency on The Players Tribune. Fine. Totally his prerogative. He believed in the Tribunes business model and message of player empowerment. I can respect that. But when we saw each other at Thunder media day, he came over to explain himself in person.How many NBA superstars do that? Most tell an agent or publicist to deliver their bad news and never address it personally. And yet because wed always had a good professional relationship, Durant felt compelled to explain himself in person. It was an incredibly self-aware, sensitive thing to do.Thats just a small example without much consequence. So how in the world was he going to handle breaking the hearts of a city that loved him? Of going from hero to villain? Of being criticized by Hall of Famers like Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley for taking an easier path to a championship?This week in Las Vegas has been Durants first taste of life as a heartbreaker, and it appears hes only allowing himself to feel it in doses.The full weight of the fallout is too much to process all at once.I just try to be the man in the arena, Durant said. Its easy for the critics on the outside to tell you what to do or what decisions to make, but they werent just out here with me, putting in work.I cant really worry about the outside noise. I have to go to work. The work dont stop. The love of the game doesnt fade. Everything stays the same no matter where I play.This has become one of Durants refrains. A self-affirmation of sorts.Some players would get off on being disliked -- whether the sentiment is real or just a projection -- and use it as motivation. But thats not Durants nature.Guys like Kobe [Bryant] thrive on it, said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, a longtime Team USA assistant. I dont think Kevin will thrive on it. But I do think he will immerse himself into the [Warriors] team.Another key difference?When you come into town as the villain like Kobe, everybodys focused on him because he was the best player. But when Golden State comes in, theyre not going to just focus on one guy, Boeheim said.That was clearly part of the appeal to joining the Warriors. After years of being the face of his franchise, with the hopes and dreams of a city all on his shoulders, Durant was drawn to the idea of being just one of the guys.Thats part of what he said hes always loved about Team USA and what helped him this week as he adjusts to this new reality.This uncomfortable period may be good for Durant in the end. Making a decision he knew would be unpopular? Maybe thats the personal evolution and growth he needs. Maybe it wont be. In hindsight, Jordan said that hes found the entire process to be clarifying.It definitely makes you tougher, Jordan said. I still joke around like a little kid, but I dont get as mad as I used to about things, I dont let stuff affect me like I used to, because Ive gone through that crap.He hopes itll be that way for Durant as well.When I found out he was going to the Warriors, I texted him, Man, Im happy for you. This is going to be big. I cant wait to kick yalls ass, Jordan said.Im happy for him. He gave those guys [in Oklahoma City] nine great years of MVP-level basketball, a Finals appearance. He played his heart out for that team. If they cant respect that, if other players cant respect it, thats their decision. At the end of the day, hes happy and thats the only person he has to satisfy.Durant was sitting one seat away from Jordan as they each spoke after practice on the third day of Team USA training camp. There was plenty of room on either side of them. But the two old friends seemed more comfortable crowding each others personal space.If things were destined to be uncomfortable going forward, they had might as well lean on each other. Marlon Humphrey Ravens Jersey . Most important, perhaps, it went off without a hitch. Organizers poked a little fun at the now-infamous opening ceremony gaffe that saw only four out of five snowflakes open up into rings, leaving the Olympics logo one ring short. Nico Siragusa Youth Jersey . -- Aaron Murray threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns, ran for another score, and led No. http:///...rmley-Ravens-Jersey/ . LOUIS -- Roman Polak was celebrating even before Alexander Steen scored the winning goal in Saturdays 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Youve probably heard --?Chris Sale is headed to Boston. Hell immediately have one of the best offenses behind him, and he has been excellent every season he has been in the big leagues, so hell probably find success with the Red Sox.But it is worth wondering how much hell like his new confines. He has been working in a park thats friendly to hitters, and hes moving to a park thats friendly to hitters. Not much to see here? Except Fenway is unique. Witth the Green Monster in left and that triangle out in center, the confines by the Charles dont read like the ones in other ballparks. Marlon Humphrey Womens Jersey. Will Sale, with his particular set of strengths and weaknesses, mesh as well with his new home field as he did with his old one?It depends on how deep you delve into the numbers. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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