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For the love of the (women’s) game ... Kevin Durant talks about WNBA

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Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Kevin Durant is all about the game of basketball. It’s what drove him to sign up for the Olympics after a disappointing, injury-scarred season in Brooklyn. If there’s a ball and a hoop, he’s there.

“I enjoy watching the WNBA,” Durant told Insider. “I pretty much follow all the girls and try to keep up with the box scores and see how they are doing each night and watch as much as I can.”

“You know, the game of basketball is incredible no matter who is on the floor,” he added.

Durant is not just a casual fan of the WNBA. He’s invested in women’s sports. Recently, his Thirty-Five Ventures invested in an online platform, Just Women’s Sports, a sports media start-up aimed at elevating women’s sports coverage.

He’s also been seen at New York Liberty games. The Liberty, of course, is owned by Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, the co-owners of the Nets. Last month, he sat with the Tsais at Barclays Center watching the Libs.

His connection to the Liberty run deep, beyond the two teams’ shared ownership. Thirty-Five Ventures also signed New York’s star point guard Sabrina Ionescu as a “ambassador” to women’s sports. She’ll work with Boardroom on content, events, and editorial, including a collaboration with Durant.

KD also told Meredith Cash that he was thrilled to join Candace Parker on the covers of NBA2K this coming season, a first for a woman hooper.

As proof of how much he keeps up, Durant talked to Cash about the WNBA player he sees as most like him, Jonquel Jones of the Connecticut Sun.

“Jonquel Jones is the one that comes off top of mind,” Durant said of the 6’6” big. “She reminds me of myself with her length and how she shoots the ball. I’m a huge fan of her.”

He spoke as well of his relationship with Charli Collier, another WNBA big who was taken overall No. in the 2021 WNBA Draft. Like KD, Collier is a Texas product and wore No. 35, his number as a Longhorn.

“Charli Collier went to Texas,” Durant said. “And [she was] the number one pick, so I follow.”

Cash recounts Durant FaceTimed Collier ahead of her big moment walking across the WNBA’s virtual draft stage in April. The two former Texas stars discussed how to handle the spotlight and a lot more.

“Once people build up the love for the game, they’ll understand a little bit more,” Durant said of the WNBA. “They love that we [in the NBA] are athletic, and we can get over the top of the rim and excite people with our athleticism. And a lot of fans feel the women’s game is lacking that, but if you really lock in and enjoy the skill and fundamentals of the game, it’s even higher to watch.”

“So, just watch more, try to take in a game more, and have an open mind when you’re watching the game,” he added.

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Mixed bag for the Liberty last night to the WNBA All-Star Game. Betnijah Laney scored four points and grabbed two rebounds in 17 minutes of action has the WNBA team beat Team USA in Las Vegas, 93-85. But Sami Whitcomb lost in the 3-point shootout. The Tsais were on hand for the game.

Durant of course is in Vegas for Team USA exhibition games.