It’s amazing how modest and unassuming individuals who have achieved great success can be.
They don’t exude a sense of arrogance or an air of self importance.
Even if you didn’t know it, they’ve accomplished so much.
I was watching David Letterman interview Kevin Durant on his program My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman on Netflix.
Kevin Durant is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA. He is an accomplished basketball player.
In this interview, you get to see how humility works in practice.
In some cases during the interview, Kevin Durant downplays his accomplishments while in others he seeks to boost David Letterman’s.
Here are examples:
DL: How do they [family] treat you? Are you? “Oh, there’s our cousin?” or “Oh my God. There’s megastar Kevin Durant?”
KD: I’ll put it like this. When I was coming up, the older guys in our family that went to college and did great things with their lives, everybody celebrated them. That was just a family tradition. So whether it was me, my cousins, my brother, everybody gets that love especially if they haven’t seen you in a while. That’s the beauty of family.
During this exchange, Kevin Durant is attempting to explain to David Letterman that I am not the superstar of the family who is recognised, but rather we are all celebrated, including those who succeeded before me in the family. I’m not a special snowflake.
Another example in the conversation is when they talk about Kevin’s achievements in the basketball game.
DL: You have a lot more responsibility [referring to KD’s successes] to the culture and to the society than I did.
KD: No, I think you had an important job. You had to tell the truth. You had to relay the message to the people. That’s important. I play kids’ games.
David Letterman explains to Kevin Durant the importance of his work as a basketball star and how everything stops when he announces to people he will be interviewing Kevin Durant.
In his response, Kevin says that the job that David Letter does of communicating the truth [via humour] is more vital. He [KD] downplays the significance of playing basketball by comparing it to a game that children would enjoy. Basically, Kevin Durant says telling the hard truth is more important than playing basketball [kids’ game]
The following exchange with Kevin Durant reaffirmed his humility.
DL: And like the Olympics. You represented this country three different times. Won three different gold medals?
KD: Yeah. I credit that to the game of basketball. People are attracted to the sport. I just happen to be one of the messengers at this point.
It takes a lot of humility to say, I’m proud of my successes, but I’m not going to brag about them. Success belongs to the game, not to me. To put it another way, I’m nothing more than an insignificant piece on a chessboard.
That to me is real humility.
This was an incredible interview for me, and I have re-watched it multiple times.
PS: Kevin Durant is as straight-faced as they come. Hardly laughs, seldom smile. Not even Letterman, one of the most recognised TV hosts and comedians in recent memory, could break Durant. That just speaks to how focused he is.