Kevin Durant — as a player, as a person, as an idea, as a movement, as a totem — is a curious proposition. So here are 70 questions about him:
1. Well, what now?
2. How do we handle this situation?
3. Because it feels like Kevin Durant is absolutely going to win his first NBA championship in a few days, doesn’t it?
4. So, what now?
5. Does this complicate things?
6. It does, right?
7. When the Thunder lost to the Warriors in the playoffs last year, it really felt like the moment when we all said, "Well, Kevin Durant is going to end up in that fraternity of excellent players who never got a ring," didn’t it?
8. And had things stayed that way, this all would’ve been way easier, right?
9. That’s an easy classification to think about and understand, isn’t it?
10. A ringless hero is a thing we all understand and are used to, right? (You’ve heard of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone and all the rest, right?)
11. So, what now?
12. What does this change?
13. What does KD winning a ring change?
14. Does it change everything?
15. Does it change nothing?
16. People couldn’t possibly consider this an asterisk title, could they?
17. Will we always have a situation where someone will mention that KD won a ring, and then someone else will say something like, "Sure, but it’s the way he won it that I’m talking about"?
18. Are those questions too big to think about right now?
19. Here’s a smaller one, then: Is KD still the second-best player in the league?
20. Is that what we’re all sticking with?
21. Or is he in first place now?
22. Was his run through the postseason enough for us to say that he leapfrogged LeBron?
23. He didn’t leapfrog over LeBron, did he?
24. Does KD sweeping the guy who’s been the best player in the league for the last decade in the Finals count as enough for him to take LeBron’s spot?
25. Or does KD not get full credit because he did so with the Warriors?
26. If you’re going to say that that’s the case, isn’t that at least a little bit unfair to Durant?
27. Or is it totally fair to Durant?
28. Does he even care?
29. He doesn’t care, does he?
30. He does care, doesn’t he?
31. How do you think Kevin Durant is going to feel when he finally gets to hold that championship trophy?
32. Do you remember that story in Sports Illustrated several years ago where the cover was a picture of him with this giant quote in the background about how he was tired of being second in everything?
33. Will his finishing first this season finally be this big, big, big thing for him and for his brain?
34. Or do you think it’s going to feel a little weird to him, or taste a little weird to him, like when you put a penny in your mouth?
35. Do you think he’ll ever play for another team?
36. Or will he stay in Golden State forever?
37. Even if you don’t like Kevin Durant, you have to for sure admit that seeing him win is a cool thing, even if only because of all the conversation tentacles that are going to shoot outward from his forehead after he wins this ring, don’t you?
38. Is Kevin Durant complicated?
39. It feels like he is but it also feels like he isn’t, you know what I’m saying?
40. Do you remember him getting that giant tattoo of Rick James on his thigh?
41. Or that giant tattoo of Tupac he got a few months prior to the Rick James tattoo?
42. I remember seeing that stuff happening and thinking: Why did he do that?
43. After Durant got the Tupac tattoo, someone dug up some old tweet of his where he was talking about how he wasn’t that big of a Tupac fan, and then a lot of people were asking: Why did you do that?
44. It felt weird, right?
45. But it also felt like exactly a perfect Kevin Durant thing, right?
46. Like if I said, "Hey, guess what player in the NBA got a tattoo of Tupac after saying he didn’t like Tupac," your first guess would be KD, right?
47. Because it’s a complicated move (only the highest level of person could make a pivot like this) and also a not complicated move, right?
48. So does that mean it actually felt right and not weird?
49. It’s confusing, isn’t it?
50. That’s why, anytime anything with Kevin Durant happens, it always feels like: What’s going on here?
51. What are the levels involved?
52. Because he’s definitely operating on a bunch of different levels, isn’t he?
53. That’s why he’s so fascinating, isn’t it?
54. Or is he not fascinating at all?
55. Is he just very basic?
56. It can’t be just that, right?
57. Because if it were just that, there wouldn’t be that undertone of complication that’s always there, right?
58. And so now we’re right back to where we were at Question 46, right?
59. Do you think Russell Westbrook is going to reach out to Kevin after the Warriors win the title?
60. What do you think he’d say?
61. Was their moment of warm levity during the All-Star Game enough to thaw that giant block of Hate Ice between them that (we all assumed) was there?
62. If Russ doesn’t reach out to KD, do you think KD will reach out to Russ?
63. Do you think we’ll ever get to a point where we can talk about one without talking about the other?
64. Or will marrying them together be a thing that lasts a long, long, long time, like we did with Kobe and Shaq?
65. Have you ever listened to Kevin Durant talk for more than a couple of minutes?
66. He’s very charming, isn’t he?
67. Or do I feel that way only because I think he’s so interesting?
68. Or do you not feel that way because you’re angry or upset or disappointed that he left OKC?
69. Or is it some combination of the two?
70. It’s a lot to think about, isn’t it?