Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kevin Durant and the Half Truth about ‘Do What’s Best for You’

By Charlie Scaturro

The phrase “do what’s best for you” gets thrown around all the time by people who care about our well being. And on the surface, the intent behind this advice, which is essentially saying ‘take care of yourself’, comes from the very best places of the human conscience. Even though you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t think that, in theory, people should do what they need to do to take care of themselves, it’s always interesting to see how we react when someone actually makes a decision with their health at the forefront of their thought process.

Enter Kevin Durant, who just a few days ago made the decision that he would not play for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup citing the need to take a break from basketball, both physically and mentally, in order to prepare for the upcoming NBA season.

There are those who say this decision is more about Durant’s rumored 300-plus million dollar contract with Under Armour than it is about basketball. Maybe so. There are those who say this decision is more about Durant wanting to protect himself from injury after what happened to Paul George recently. Maybe so. There are those who say this decision is more about Durant simply not wanting to play for Team USA this summer. Maybe so. But it’s also perfectly reasonable to think that Durant would need a break after a grueling NBA season, which involved constant traveling, dealing with the media, and having his every move examined under a microscope, all while working to build himself into a brand off the court as well.

While the reactions have been mixed and many have come to Durant’s defense, I’ve certainly heard people on the other side criticizing his choice. Of course, you’ll always find people with differing opinions no matter what the topic is, but I heard more than enough people voice their displeasure about Durant’s decision that it made me think about this topic on a larger scale.

Whether you’re Kevin Durant and you get paid millions of dollars to play basketball or you’re living a normal life working a 9-5, sometimes we all have to take a step back and put our best interests, our health, and our sanity ahead of other things in our life. This sounds simple, but with the everyday stresses of work, life, friends, family, and the expectations of others constantly bearing down on us, it can be easy to prioritize many other things above our own own well being without even realizing it.

If we’re lucky enough, we’re surrounded by people who encourage us to do what’s best for our own well being. Those who encourage us to do so believe that not only will this keep us happy and healthy, but it also stands to reason that if we’re happy and healthy it will benefit those around us as well. But the trouble starts when your decision to prioritize your health has an unintentionally negative effect on others, just as Kevin Durant’s decision to take a break had an unintentionally negative effect on Team USA’s chances of winning the FIBA World Cup and people’s enjoyment of watching Team USA compete.

Sometimes when we realize that we need to do what’s best for ourselves and focus on our health it’s good for everyone involved, but as we just saw with Kevin Durant, that’s not always the case. The negative reactions to Durant’s decision have me thinking that we should probably start saying what we really mean when it comes to the ‘do what’s best for you’ axiom: “do what’s best for you, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience me.”

No comments:

Post a Comment