Following the Warriors’ Saturday morning practice, reporter Jabari Young asked the star forward what he thought of Cole’s KOD project. Durant had nothing but kind words and specifically praised the rapper for addressing issues that were relatable to his own life.
“He’s a legend already, man,” he said. “It felt like he was in my head as he was writing this album. The stuff he was writing about is stuff that I go through as a young man in this world, in this crazy business. It was much-needed music. I needed to hear that.”
Durant went on to say he has listened to the album about five or six times.
J. Cole himself dropped a Durant reference on the 2014 Forest Hills Drive track “Fire Squad”: “Meets 2 Live Crew, meets the new Spike Lee/Meets Bruce like Wayne, meets Bruce like Lee/Meets '02 Lil Wayne, in a new white tee/Meets KD, ain't no nigga that can shoot like me.” J. Cole appears to be appreciative of the general feedback for KOD. "I appreciate the convo taking place," he said in a tweet. "It's eye opening."
During a 2016 interview with Genius, Durant—who’s also been name-dropped by rappers like Drake, Jay Z, and Wale—spoke about Cole’s musical skills as well as the support he’s received from him.
“J. Cole, I feel as though he’s in the top tier of rappers,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it means more coming from Cole than it does from Drake or Wale or anybody else, because all those dudes, they actually work for something to get to where they are. They had to go through the rough times to get to where they are so I respect their opinions just as much as basketball players’ opinions […]They perfected their craft, it’s just in a different profession.”
Following the release of KOD, ESPN announced they had teamed up with Cole and Dreamville Records for the 2018 NBA Playoffs campaign. A Playoffs commercial featured Cole’s “ATM” track as well as a quick reference to KD’s “Easy Money Sniper” nickname. You can check it out below.