Prior to this week, I’d have cited Colin Cowherd’s continued employment as some evidence There Is No God. However, in light of CBS’ decision Monday to pass on a situation comedy based on a sanitized version of the radio host’s miserable life, I am willing to admit there might actually be some higher power looking out for us. And it’s with that new-found tolerance for the deeply religious amongst us that I direct your attention to GetReligion.com, where contributor Bobby Ross Jr. takes issue with ESPN.com’s Tom Friend and his recent profile of Kevin Durant (“Kevin Durant Making A Humble Home For Himself In Oklahoma City”) In short, Friend is accused of repeatedly undermining attempts by the Thunder PF to fully credit his development to a force many in the sports world are deeply skeptical of. But enough about Rick Barnes, it seems Friend has a grudge against JESUS, too.
We find out that Durant’s mother took him to church on the weekends, but then the piece quickly makes a detour to weekdays at the rec center. We find out that Durant played high school basketball at the National Christian Academy, but then the piece quickly makes a detour to famous college coaches and free sneakers. We find out that Durant turned around a rough spot in his basketball career when he stopped snoring in church, but then the piece quickly makes a detour to, well, basketball statistics — with no explanation of how church benefited his playing.
You get the idea.
In a 5,000-word story, the writer can’t help but include a few quotes where Durant mentions God. But each time, God disappears as quickly as a fast break.
The closest the piece comes to getting religion is this, and even here, it misses the net by about half a court:
“What’s made him this way is his soul. He recently purchased a 3,460-square-foot home in the upscale Gaillardia section of Oklahoma City. Just when he was reveling in the scale of it all, he began talking with one of community’s security guards.
“The Oklahoma City bombing came up, and the guard mentioned he’d lost his wife in the explosion. Durant, who had a bible in his backpack, told the man he’d pray for him.”
Lowercase bible? That’s not AP style. I wouldn’t figure it would be ESPN style.