Whether or not that takes him back to his D.C. area roots in the same way King James moved to bolt Miami and return to his in Cleveland remains to be seen, but it surely appears to have provided the reigning league MVP with much food for thought.
Oklahoma City Thunder fans are increasingly in mourning over reports the Slim Reaper may be considering making the same sort of life-altering move James made in ruining summer for fans all over South Beach.
“One guy can change it all,” Durant told SI.com this week, seemingly in a proclamation aimed at reminding himself of the overwhelming virtues of perhaps joining forces with the likes of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and the Wiz when he can become a free-agent after the 2016 season as much as tipping his hat to the reality James now counts Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, and Anthony Bennett as teammates. “To have a chance to compete every single season for a championship, you can’t beat that.”
It’s not as if the Thunder haven’t worked long and hard to give Durant support. Besides KD, the Thunder roster also boasts the star-studded likes of Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, Nick Collison, and Steven Adams. As recently as 2012, the squad advanced to the NBA Finals to actually face off against James and the Heat for NBA supremacy.
But soon after being thrashed by Miami 4-1, Durant went on record in asserting he is “tired of being second.” And like James at a comparable point and time in his career, his patience has grown short with it all. When James had his first chance to seek greener pastures, the Cavs had played in just one finals and otherwise had nothing else to show for his first seven seasons.
In addition, James was only 25 when Dwyane Wade, Pat Riley, and the Heat came calling, making the choice to ditch the glum of his hometown for the glitz and eventual rings of South Beach that much easier. By comparison, Durant will be 27 by the time he can leave for D.C., whereby then all the parts could more than be in line for a James and the Heat like run.
Sense the vibe here? Everything that seems logical and rational about today’s NBA at least partly suggests the possibility of it all happening, not to mention by the time it can, Durant, again like James, could simply be longing for a return to the place you would think he knows best.
“It’s hard, it’s tough not being in the Finals,” he added. “It’s one of those things you want to get to every year. Some guys don’t even make the playoffs every year.”
Yet in the same breath, Kevin Durant insists that won’t be the only voice he hears in making his ultimate decision. “I’m going to do what is best for me,” he said, fully aware that the likes of the Lakers, Knicks, and Nets also figure to be in play for him by then. “It’s hard to talk about that right now. I have two years left with Oklahoma City. I’m just trying to focus on that. I don’t want to think too far down the line. I want to focus on today. I love my teammates, my coaches, the front office, the city. We’ll see.”
Indeed we will, though some might tell you the stars already appear to be aligning where Kevin Durant is concerned.