Most people might think Kevin Durant’s tumultuous relationship with the fans and media can be fixed by winning another championship, but according to FS1’s Ric Bucher, he just needs to get married.
Despite being one of the greatest players in NBA history, Durant has struggled to find the right fit, playing on four different teams in eight years. And as he pursues validation, Durant constantly pushes back on criticism from fans and analysts. He did so again earlier this week, firing back at Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley for criticizing his jump from Brooklyn to the Phoenix Suns. But during a recent episode of Speak on FS1, NBA analyst Ric Bucher stumbled on what he thinks will solve Durant’s problems.
— Speak (@SpeakOnFS1) March 2, 2023
“Kevin Durant needs to get married,” Bucher said. “Kevin Durant needs a relationship that teaches him what you have to respond to and what you just let go. And that, for me, is what marriage taught me – what’s really important.”
Bucher added that like Durant, he’s aware of everything negative that’s said about him, but he’s able to filter through and take criticism only from people he respects.
“When you get married or you have a significant other, and when they know you and they talk to you about issues that may exist, I listen to that,” Bucher added. “I’m able to differentiate that from all the other noise that you might get because everybody’s got something to say. Especially in this world. If you have any sort of notoriety, any sort of presence, everybody wants to tell you how to do your business.”
Durant seems to have a different mindset from Bucher on how to differentiate the criticism that matters from the noise, which is why the NBA star so frequently battles the media and unnamed fans on social media. Bucher’s FS1 colleague Colin Cowherd had a similar sentiment about Aaron Rodgers last year, boldly claiming the Green Bay Packers quarterback needs a strong woman.
“I like my pro athletes to be married to strong women,” Cowherd said last summer. “They call you out on their crap. I got into an argument with a friend not long ago, my wife told me right to my face, ‘be a man, Colin, don’t be passive-aggressive.’ She was right, I was wrong. Had I been single I would’ve become self-absorbed, pointing fingers.”
Personally, I enjoy Durant’s willingness to engage. Why does the media feel a constant need to criticize Durant for criticizing his critics? And what if Durant or Rodgers marries a person who tries to support their husband by pushing back on unjust criticism? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a spouse, family member or close friend of a star athlete hit back at criticism of their significant other. If Durant ultimately finds love, that’s great, but what he really needs at this point in his career, is to stay healthy.