Kevin Durant is a bit like Kobe Bryant this year in that he’s taking a trip around the league and at each spot speaking his mind in interviews about the host city.
Folks take what they will from these exchanges. Durant, believe it or not despite the general lack of hype, heads to free agency this summer. Given the situation, one of the main topics of discussion with Durant each road game centers on how he likes the city, the team and all that comes with it.
One city Durant hasn’t spoke a ton about, though?
Sounds odd, right? With the recent trends, though, few in the media have thought to ask, in large part because they already know how the man feels about the team that drafted him. ESPN.com’s Royce Young confirmed these sentiments with Durant while speaking to him at a fundraiser:
It’s home. It’s home.
I’ve always felt that this place meant so much to me. It has a special place in my heart and my family’s heart as well. And we want to do our justice by giving back and giving to the less fortunate. That’s how I was raised, that’s how my mom taught me, how my grandmother taught me, is to give back. I’ve been blessed with so much I want to be a blessing on someone else.
There has been a general perception about Durant suggesting he’s the loyal type who won’t ditch Oklahoma City for a bigger market. It makes sense given everything known about Durant’s character, but plenty of counterpoints exist.
For one, there’s more money in a bigger market, should Durant decide to take his talents to a team like the Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks. In the recent past, he’s even spoken highly of cities like Philadelphia and Boston.
Two, Durant might want to be the guy. As in, a guy who doesn’t need a partner in crime like Russell Westbrook, who doesn’t himself hit the open market until this time next year. If that’s the case, it might be enough to drive Durant to a different city, though it would favor a location such as the Lakers over a place like the Knicks, who already have Carmelo Anthony on board.
At the end of the day, though, most of this still falls under the realm of speculation. Durant, quiet as they come for a superstar of such talent and importance, hasn’t had much of a crazy buildup to free agency just yet. He likes it that way, too, so don’t be shocked when he absolutely loves every city he visits the rest of the season and into the playoffs.
Maybe Durant will back up his most recent comments and make free agency rather boring. Perhaps he departs. Expect to hear plenty about how the team’s performance in the playoffs will influence his decision.
Based on comments, though, Durant isn’t anywhere close to a decision. He’s also nowhere close to ruling out Oklahoma City.