- - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Golden State Warriors used to be the Washington Wizards. From 1994 to 2013, they had just two winning seasons.

Then they got Steph Curry. And Klay Thompson.

And now they’ve got Kevin Durant. Our Kevin Durant. Your Kevin Durant.

The DMV’s Kevin Durant.

The Wizards? They remain the Washington Wizards.

DMV has come to represent Depressed Mistreated Victims instead of a geographical designation when it comes to Washington sports particularly those who pledge their allegiance to the Washington Wizards.

Turns out Kevin Durant isn’t your Kevin Durant. Turns out that he is a businessman, and his decision to leave Oklahoma and sign with the 73-win Golden State Warriors was a business decision.

Oh, he talked about personal growth and his “evolution as a man” as reasons for his decision to move to Golden State.

“The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction,” he wrote in The Players’ Tribune the Derek Jeter athlete web site where Durant is listed as a deputy publisher and where Durant revealed his decision on July 4th. “But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth.”

Durant was even called out on social media by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who posted on Twitter, “Don’t give a damn what anyone says: weak move by KD. You go to GSW, the team who beat you, when you’re already on a title contender? Please!”

It’s OK if it is a business decision. But don’t pretend it’s about some lofty personal goals.

Don’t insult the Oklahoma City fans you left behind by writing about “the fans and people of the community they have always had my back unconditionally” and then leave, showing them that, as far as you were concerned, the relationship they believed they had with you did have conditions.

Don’t insult your hometown Washington fans by writing, “I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me.” I guess when they would see Durant on the sidelines during Redskins games, they thought home meant more.

Turns out home was not even worth a visit.

Wizards star and team leader John Wall suggested it may have been because Durant was turned off by his hometown fans. “A lot of people will be devastated. But at the end of the day he never promised us anything,” Wall told CSNmidatlantic.com during the final day of his camp at Fairfax High School, when asked about reports that Durant wasn’t even considering Washington as a destination as a free agent. “Every day, everybody said KD-to-DC, coming to our games wearing all the Kevin Durant stuff. He didn’t like it at that time because you should cheer for the team that you got. That might sway him.”

While Wall was doing that, Warriors team leaders and stars Curry, Draymond Green, Thompson and Andre Iguodala were meeting with Durant. “We asked him how many championships do you think we can win with the way the team is now?” Green told ESPN. “How many championships can you win without us? How many do you think we can win together?”

You can certainly understand why Wall suggested it may be the fault of Washington fans. He would have been embarrassed to ask the same questions to Durant that the Warriors stars and team leaders did.

The Warriors stars weren’t the only ones meeting with Durant to pitch him on Golden State.

Turns out the guy Wizards owner Ted Leonsis should have been recruiting was Jerry West.

West — the former Lakers Hall of Fame guard — is a board member and advisor for Golden State, and, according to reports, he was used as the closer to seal the deal, convincing Durant that his best interests were to sign with the Warriors.

The Wizards? I’m sure if they had gotten the opportunity, Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld would have been just as effective.

Make no mistake about it this is a huge failure for Leonsis. He has had years to lay the groundwork for this sales pitch, and in the end, he couldn’t even get a meeting. His public response? Leonsis tweeted last Thursday this little cryptic tidbit about a Bloomberg feature on Under Armour boss Kevin Plank, “True devotion to DMV. This is what it looks like. Kudos to Under Armour. And Kevin Plank, the real MVP.”

Kevin Durant is a Nike guy.

Business.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide