Skip to main content

Kevin Durant and the Brotherhood

I've always imagined starting a company with friends. I can't think of a product we would make. I'm not sure it even matters. I just want to work with people that inspire me. I want to work with a team where we have similar values, close friendships, and are working to accomplish something big together. 

When Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Andre Igoudala came together on the US national team in 2010, they were inseparable. Not only did they share a preternatural work ethic - they would get shots up in the evening after practice - they also shared a common devotion to their faith as the guys went to chapel together before every game. From what I understand, USA basketball and the NBA do not require chapel attendance. It's for guys who are both serious about their faith and not ashamed to be public about it. There's something significant about being devout believers on a professional sports team. I can't imagine the NBA being an easy place to live out your faith. There's constant travel, gobs of money, adoring fans, the sexual temptation that accompanies those aspects, 24/7 media exposure, and criticism on all fronts. Befriending a fellow believer who is not ashamed of his faith is vital. Curry's Christian beliefs are well-documented and so are Durant's. Iguodala's faith is less-documented because of his lower profile. But make no mistake - these guys love Jesus. During the 2014-2015 season, it appears ALL the Golden State Warriors were professed believers and attended chapel together. I'm not sure many NBA teams can make that claim. 

The term "brotherhood" has formed a conversation thread in the aftermath of Durant's decision to join the Golden State Warriors. It's language that describes the relationship between Durant, Curry, and Igoudala. It indicates a bond that transcends a typical coworker relationship. Brotherhood means deep kinship and it goes far beyond what happens on the court. That's the premise of the epic TV mini-series Band of Brothers. It details the World War II exploits of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne. War glues men together in a way nothing can match not even marriage. Veterans often report a stronger affinity with their fellow soldiers than with their wives. This is what Kevin Durant is after. And who would not want that? To fight for a worthy goal with like-minded companions. That's the way God designed us. 

Being on pastoral staff of a church, I've been privileged to serve with a great team for a great cause for the past decade and that continues to this day. It's a trust I'm grateful for. It's interesting though because when I imagine starting a company with friends it's because we get to choose to do so. The value of the journey comes from freely choosing each other. And yet the men of Easy Company did not choose each other nor did they choose the war they fought. Their comrades and their mission was placed on them.

Perhaps then we value the freedom of choice too highly. I did not hand-pick my companions nor did I choose my cause rather God gave me my mission and teammates. And yet, when given the choice, like Kevin Durant, how many of us would forgo the opportunity to serve with elite, like-minded teammates in pursuit of a lofty goal?

I can't help but sense Durant, as he pondered his decision, thought about what the stories he would tell his grandchildren after his playing days were a distant memory. Perhaps his sentiment is best summed up by the closing moments of Band of Brothers in which a former member of Easy Company is interviewed in the present day and says:
I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked the other day. When he said:
"Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?"
"No" I answered. "But I served in the company of heroes."


Popular posts from this blog

A Dad's Review of Passport 2 Purity

[3,100 words, 11 minute read] The sex talk is one of the most dreaded conversations parents anticipate having with their children. To make things easier, an entire industry exists to help parents with sex education. Dozens of books have been written to help parents navigate this treacherous topic with their progeny. One of the best known among evangelicals is called the Passport 2 Purity Getaway package . It is produced by FamilyLife, a division of Cru (former Campus Crusade for Christ) and consists of a five lecture CD package including a journal and exercises designed as a weekend retreat for a pre-pubescent child and his/her parent(s). Passport 2 Purity was not my initiative. Our trip came about because Judy had heard from several home-schooling mom friends how they had taken their daughters on a road trip to go through the CDs. She even heard how a mom took a trip with husband and two sons to through the curriculum. So a couple months ago, Judy suggested we take our two older boy

Why Asians Run Slower

My brother got me David Epstein's book The Sports Gene . It is a fascinating quick read. If you're interested in sports and science, it will enthrall you.  I finished it in three days. Epstein's point is that far more of an athlete's performance is due to genetics than due to the so-called "10,000 hour" rule promulgated by books such as Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin (both which are very good). The 10,000 hour rule states that any person can reach expert level of performance in a sport if they devote 10,000 hours of deliberate and intentional practice.  That's a lot of hours. Most people aren't capable of anywhere close. And that's precisely Epstein's point. Someone who devotes 10,000 hours of sport-specific practice is likely genetically gifted for the sport in extraordinary ways AND genetically gifted in their ability to persevere and benefit from practice. Therefore, a person who can pra

Unsolvable Problems in Marriage I: Lowering Expectations

Different expectations of conflict From a recent Facebook post: Working on a post about unsolvable problems in marriage: For those who have been married five or more years, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much expectation did you have entering into marriage that communication could resolve any conflict between you and your spouse? How would you rate that expectation now? People often enter into marriage thinking that most if not all their conflicts can be resolved. Women come into marriage thinking "I can make my husband a better man". Men come into marriage thinking, "My wife will learn to see things my way". This idealistic view of marriage does not survive contact with the enemy. Even for couples for whom the first years of marriage are conflict-free, raising children is its own brand of unsolvable problem. And then there's sickness and mental health issues, job changes, unemployment, moving, and shifts in friendships. Conflict in marriage is inevitable. A number