Kevin Durant Gets His Michael Jordan On

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2013


We like to compare present-day NBA superstars to Michael Jordan every chance we get, and the latest fad is to look at Kevin Durant's scoring ability and start shouting about some old dude who used to play for the Chicago Bulls.

Now, however, a picture has come out that makes Durant look more like Jordan than most any other player in the past, for better or worse.

Here's Durant just chilling and enjoying a day with his buddies, playing some poker and enjoying a nice cigar.

Before everybody goes out of their way to get bent out of shape about a dude puffing on a stogie while playing some poker, there's something you've got to know about Michael Jordan.

Jordan has said he started smoking cigars in 1991, and it became a habit by 1993, even smoking on the way to home games.

In Chicago, I tell people this, and they have to understand the context of what happened. We had to be to the stadium at 6 o'clock for home games, and traffic was so bad it would take us an hour and 15 or an hour and 30 minutes to drive. So now I'm sitting in a car for almost an hour and a half, and I'm very tense. I'm worried about the traffic. So I started smoking a cigar going to the games. In 1993. It became a ritual for every home game.

As soon as I walked in, Phil [Jackson] would say, OK, you had a long drive. It became such a relaxing thing to do. Not many people know about it. When they read this, they'll know that each and every day for a home game, I smoked a cigar. I wanted that feeling of success, and relaxation. It's the most relaxing thing.

If Jordan could pull one back on the way to every Bulls home game and Phil Jackson was fine with it, there's no reason to get up in arms about Durant playing a little poker and having a cigar on his day off.

Plus, just look at the spread they've got there while playing. They're eating some chips and dip, smoking cigars and drinking Gatorade and what looks like grapefruit juice. Something tells me a Michael Jordan poker party would have been a bit more extreme.