When fantasy studs become studly fantasies

You know that indescribable feeling you have towards an athlete?  The one that goes beyond admiration? You can’t quite put a finger on it, but you get the same jolt through your veins every time you see them on television or read about them on the Internet. You don’t just have a soft spot for this player—you really like them. This, my friends, is called a man-crush.

According to Urban Dictionary, a man-crush occurs “when a straight man has a ‘crush’ on another man, not sexual, but kind of idolizing him.” I have to admit—I have a huge man-crush. You probably do too, although you may be reluctant to come to terms with it. I’m here to tell you, though, that a man-crush is completely acceptable and is something you should be proud of.

My man-crush starts and ends with one man: Kevin Durant. You know, the guy who became the youngest scoring champion in NBA history last season. The guy who just led team USA to a gold medal at the FIBA world championship for the first time in 16 years. The guy who, amidst all the LeBron James ‘Decision’ bullshit, decided to sign a five-year extension with a small-market club that he helped build from the ground up.

My infatuation with Durant began at the beginning of last season, when I picked him sixth overall in our fantasy basketball draft. I wouldn’t call this a steal—I’d call it grand larceny. It’s normal to become obsessed with people on your fantasy team. Let’s just say I became obsessed with Durant over the course of the season as he single-handedly carried my fantasy squad to the championship match.

Checking his stats on a daily basis and seeing him put up huge numbers night-in, night-out made me proud of my man-crush. We were in this thing together—when he’d have a bad night, I would too. When he dropped 40 points on an inferior defender, I was part of that scoring outburst too.

But my man-crush on Durant goes a lot deeper than his contributions to my fantasy dominance.  KD is a breath of fresh air in a culture of egotistical, money-hungry superstars. He prefers to play in a small market because, as he says, “I’m not into the big city lights and the paparazzi. I just love playing basketball and chillin’ out.” That’s my boy.

Another alluring aspect of Durant is his humility. This man is so humble that he posted his cell phone number on his Twitter account last week in order for fans to text or call him. When have we ever been given such personal access to a player so dominant at his sport? Durant doesn’t think he’s better than the average fan in any way, and that’s what makes him such a likable player.

I’ve truly enjoyed my man-crush on Durant and I expect our relationship to flourish as time goes on. It doesn’t matter that the love is not reciprocated. It doesn’t matter that I will probably never speak to him face-to-face. I will continue to idolize him and bask in his success because he’s one of us. The dude is 22. He’s playing with all his friends on an NBA team and having a great time doing it.

Now that you know what a man-crush is all about, search through your list of favourite players and admit that there’s one that captures your soul. Be proud of your man-crush, but just remember, Durant is mine.

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