Sports

Kevin Durant can’t handle this smoke


KD partners with cannabis company Weedmaps, but clams up on the question of whether he personally puffs that loud.

KD partners with cannabis company Weedmaps, but clams up on the question of whether he personally puffs that loud.
Illustration: Getty Images

Kevin Durant is smoking, er, talking out of both sides of his mouth.

And it doesn’t make any sense.

On Thursday, Durant was more than happy to share with the world what a smart businessman he is, announcing a new partnership with Weedmaps.

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That company doesn’t sell marijuana directly, but is an e- commerce platform that guides users to dispensaries.

But when ESPN.com asked the Brooklyn Nets star forward about his personal weed use, he pleaded the fifth.

Under normal circumstances it’s his business and nobody should care.

But Durant didn’t just talk about his new business venture, he also talked about how he wanted to change the narrative about cannabis and help remove the stigma.

Huh?

But not admitting to puffing weed — if he, indeed, does — made Durant come off as if he’s either ashamed or scared to step to the mic and announce to the world that arguably the best player on the planet is a pothead.

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“I think it’s far past time to address the stigmas around cannabis that still exist in the sports world as well as globally,” Durant said. “This partnership is going to help us continue to normalize those conversations, as well as create content, events, and a lot more through our Boardroom media network. This is just the beginning for us.”

Durant had a chance from Day 1 to show the world that a talented and smart individual can light up and still be a productive member of society.

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And that all weed smokers are not in their mom’s basement, smoking weed, playing video games all day with no job to go to and eating Funyuns.

Some will cry Durant has the right to make this business investment and not necessarily have to partake in consumption of the wacky tabacci.

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Common sense, however, says it’s hard to imagine a non-vegan investing in a vegan company or a vegan investing in a hamburger joint. Perhaps, it could happen.

Still, if Durant is serious about changing the world, he can’t do it from the closet. You have to stand up and be counted.

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You can’t just say you want change in the government, you have to march to Washington, D.C. and prove it to the masses.

That would have been a big step for the movement that Durant apparently feels strongly about.

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Honestly, Durant can’t be afraid of what people think of him or how it looks. He made it public that he’s involved. It wasn’t investigative reporting that uncovered the agreement.

And so what if some people don’t like it. It’s impossible to please all people.

Plus, Durant, of all people, is bulletproof. He’s one of the biggest stars in the NBA. The Nets just signed him to a four-year, $198-million contract extension. Are the Nets going to cut him on the spot if he kept it real?

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And let’s be honest, if KD doesn’t smoke weed, he could have simply said so to ESPN.com. That’s just logical. Saying basically no comment speaks loudly enough.

If he does, he has nothing to worry about. The NBA has already loosened penalties on weed smoking before the pandemic. And during the pandemic in The Bubble, they stopped random testing. In fact, the last player suspended for using pot was Thabo Sefolosha in 2018.

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It’s hard to imagine that now that the NBA has relaxed its stance on weed that it will somehow go backward and start testing again. That ship has sailed like laces on the basketball.

Durant said his course of action is to address the stigma via podcasts and video content.

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Nice.

But it is certainly not enough.

There needs to be faces attached to it. The bigger, the richer, the better. The masses need to know how common it is with the people they love, adore and idolize.

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Athletes aren’t alone. Movie stars, celebrities, musicians, popular radio DJs and maybe even some of the popular media people that many admire and respect will be needed as well. Durant’s missing the point. With change, comes some sacrifice. Come on, KD. Instead of puffing and passing, Durant simply passed.

With that approach from celebrity weed-smokers, the stigma isn’t going anywhere.

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