Former teammates think Bay Area had same appeal as Seattle to Kevin Durant
Superstar Kevin Durant flipped the NBA upside down when he decided to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors. Durant rightfully took plenty of flak for the decision and still does to this day for joining a team that had just ousted him from the Western Conference Finals months before.
Aside from the obvious appeal of joining a superteam like the Warriors, there are some who felt there was more to the move than just taking the easy road to championships. According to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, former teammate Earl Watson says the appeal of living in a west-coast city like Durant did early in his career with the Seattle Supersonics was all too good for him to pass up:
“He played video games with his neighbor’s kids,” Watson says. “He was part of the community. I’ve always wondered why no one ever wrote a piece on why he went to the Bay from that perspective. Because to me, it’s the closest thing to Seattle he could find in the NBA.”
Luke Ridnour, another teammate from the Seattle days echoed Watson’s statement and added that Durant got to witness the lack of loyalty within the NBA firsthand.
“He got to see it right away,” Ridnour says. “The city embraced him. He was good, but he wasn’t that good, so it wasn’t just about being a great player. The worst part is [the owners] were telling everyone they were going to stay in Seattle. But in the locker room, we all knew we were gone. I don’t think anybody wanted to go to OKC, to be honest. It’s a good city and they have great fans, but c’mon—it’s not Seattle.”
It goes without saying that in all professional sports, there seems to be a fine line between a lie and a truth in business. The people of Seattle are still reeling from the loss of their franchise to this day.
Regardless of Durant’s thought process, the move is always going to come up when discussing his legacy. However, it does give insight as to the little intricacies that could factor into making these blockbuster decisions.