They’re not real people.

At least, it often seems that way.

Little people on our screens.

Giants in reality.

Herculean heroes and villains, depending on who you’re rooting for.

It’s easy to forget that athletes are real people too.

Real people with hopes and dreams, and feelings.

When Kevin Durant left the team he joined fresh out of college, he became a pariah.

The most hated man in the league, some said.

The biggest tool, said others.

But Kevin didn’t care.

“I wanted to join a team where I felt valued and stable,” he said.

“I needed change.”

When we’re focused on constantly improving, there comes a point when we must leave others — even our brothers — behind.

Especially if we are not getting what we need from where we are.

Feeling valued and having some semblance of stability is integral to growth.

Taking a step forward is much more challenging on unstable ground.

When a strong team marches together, we don’t notice the ground shake because we are the ones causing it.