Here are some facts. I’m not exactly spewing them to make a statement about any particular thing or idea (maybe I will later), but just take them in as real facts:
->Kevin Durant was born and raised in the Washington, DC metro area, specifically the towns of Suitland and Seat Pleasant, Maryland, both of which are located approximately nine miles from the Verizon Center.
->Kevin Durant has been exclusively representative of his hometown via a large “MARYLAND” tattoo inked across his upper back, and a red ‘curly W’ imprinted on his belly. He’s also been seen in a plethora of photos where he’s posing in Redskins gear, or he’s been observed lobbying for other professional athletes to come and play for DC teams.
->Kevin Durant loooves to talk about DC. Of course, everyone hails from some place. Everyone has a childhood bound to where they grew up, but not everyone is as expressive about it as Durant can be or has been. He once pounced on the idea Britt McHenry raised a few months ago about shooting a shoe commercial at his high school alma mater Montrose Christian. He’s mentioned time and again how the city is a part of him or in his blood. Again, I’m sure many people have similar sentiments about their hometown, but again, not many of them are as vocal about it as Durant.
@BrittMcHenry just wait on it
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) October 27, 2014
KD on DC: "That whole city is a part of me. It’s in my blood. I love going back home, seeing my family & playing there but I love OKC, too."
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) July 29, 2014
->The Washington Wizards. They are the professional basketball team that plays in that Verizon Center located nine miles from Durant’s hometown.
->The Wizards, currently, are sitting beautiful near the top of the Eastern Conference, on pace for well over 50 wins and spearheaded by an MVP candidate in John Wall along with a sprouting future All-Star in Bradley Beal. Also riding along is a top 5 center and double-double machine that is Marcin Gortat as well as a vastly developing wingman who goes by Otto Porter.
->In terms of cap situation, well, from wheeling and dealing ineffective players for better ones, offing bad contracts and attracting respectable veterans, the Wizards have done everything they can from a logistical standpoint to put themselves in position to make a big splash in free agency come the summer after next. This also happens to be the same summer in which Kevin Durant becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Now, let’s consolidate these sets of facts regarding the two entities that are Kevin Durant and the Washington Wizards. Really soak them in. Done? Cool.
Now, tell me. How in the living hell can Wizards fans possibly inhibit themselves from excitement over the possibility of these two entities uniting? Over the possibility of Kevin Durant not only playing for his hometown team and for us hometown fans, but also the possibility of forming what could be one of the biggest trios the NBA has ever seen, right here in Washington DC? It’s pretty damn hard not to.
I get it. I get that there are many uncertainties outside of the stated facts. And those uncertainties are critical ones, sure. Questions like, will Durant leave for lesser money to play for his hometown and perhaps for a better all-around team? If OKC wins a title (or two) between now and 2016, will Durant feel accomplished enough to leave the Thunder and their ever so distinguished fanbase, or will he choose to stay and continue pursuing more championships? If OKC doesn’t win a title, will that compel Durant to leave and start fresh somewhere else, or will he stay put until the job is done?
Basically what it seems it will boil down to is Durant’s gametime gut feeling on the morning of July 1, 2016. Until then, there will continue to be speculation. There will continue to be fans fantasizing and wishful thinking. There will continue to be a frenzy of hashtags and jokes and all of the other great and fun things the institution of sports has come to offer. Things that most of us would rather not to have politicized as the “right” or “wrong” thing to do while we wait.
The #KD2DC movement was inevitably going to be a distraction for Durant, and it’s a distraction he sort of brought upon himself due to his expressive loyalty to the city. Not too long ago, Durant was driven to the point of deleting the Twitter app (not his account) off his phone just to save himself from getting disturbed by the relentless rash of fans yearning for his permanent homecoming. But my question is, will all of this hoopla really weigh for or against his final decision in 2016? Will his glances at customized Wizards #35 jerseys worn by glorifying fans in the stands tonight really turn him off from the idea of playing for Washington? If this were 10 years ago during a pre-social media time, Kevin Durant would have still showed up to the Verizon Center and been forced to play in front of a slew of KD2DC signs, customized jerseys, and to the sound of boisterous cheers. There just wouldn’t have been the so-called annoying tweets about it for months in advance.
My closing point is that that amid all the excitement surrounding tonight, we don’t overly saturate our desire for what may become of our future team by forgetting our current team. Tonight, the Wizards are competing for their 30th win of the season and are looking to further close the gap for the number 1 seed in the East. Tonight, Kevin Durant still remains a player the Oklahoma City Thunder and will be focusing on stopping our team from accomplishing the goals they’ve set for themselves and that, of course, is to beat his team.
There’s no harm in fantasizing about the future may look like, even if it is only a fairy tale today. Just don’t let it get the best of you.