D.C. dreaming of Durant homecoming?


VIDEO: Kevin Durant sits down with NBA.com’s Lang Whitaker

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — LeBron James followed his heart back to Cleveland.

Carmelo Anthony just couldn’t leave his native New York. And Dwyane Wade declared his love for his adopted hometown of Miami.

With all of the talk this summer of stars coming home, staying home and their teams and their cities, can you blame folks in Washington D.C. for daydreaming about a day and time when the NBA’s reigning MVP would consider doing the same?

No one represents for the Washington D.C. area harder or better than Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant. And that might explain why folks in the DMV (the urban area encompassing D.C., Maryland and Virginia) are already buzzing about a Durant homecoming one day.

Even if it is just a pipe dream, one that Thunder fans want nothing to do with, it’s one that is being talked about two seasons before Durant becomes a free agent. Washington Wizards fans and observers are already daydreaming about what their up-and-coming team can do to lure Durant back home come the summer of 2017.

Former Maryland coach and Hall of Famer Gary Williams knows the area and it’s basketball DNA well. He’s convinced Durant will call the area home again one day and last week made his feelings clear on the topic to a local radio show (courtesy of Dan Steinberg‘s D.C. Sports Bog):

“One interesting thing on this LeBron going back to Cleveland, Durant’s watching that very close,” Williams said on ESPN 980 last week. “He’s seeing the adulation pouring out for LeBron James for coming home. And Durant loves this area. He does. He’s back every summer. He plays at Montrose [Christian] against their high school kids sometimes; he’s out there taking charges. He just loves to play basketball. He’s been over at Maryland, he plays with the players over there. He just wants to play. And these are where his ties are. I know one thing, when his career’s over, I’d be shocked if he didn’t live in this area.”

“I think you go in steps,” Williams later said. “I don’t think [Paul] Pierce comes here unless the Wizards did what they did in the playoffs this year. So now take that a step further. If they do make another really strong playoff run this coming year; now all of a sudden there’s somebody that good that’s out there, they have to look at the Wizards. Because I think all those guys – Durant included – are looking at if I go here, will they be good enough to win a championship? So if the Wizards can show that maybe they’re just missing a Durant to win a championship, I think they have a good chance, I really do.”

Williams also discussed former Maryland women’s assistant David Adkins, a one-time Montrose staffer whose hiring by the Wizards helped set off this latest round of intense speculation.

“I know Davis,” Williams said. “He’s Mr. Workout Man. In other words, he loves doing individual drills with players. He knew Durant from Montrose. … He worked with Greivis Vasquez. And he’s really good at what he does.

As easy as it is to dismiss these thoughts as the musings of wistful Wizards and area hoops fans who want to see a storybook homecoming play out in D.C. the way it did in Cleveland this summer, we’d probably be foolish to ignore this completely. Had someone told you three or four years ago that LeBron would leave town the way he did and then come riding back into town a hero this summer, you’d have called them crazy.

While he remains a cult hero in his native DMV, especially for kids who idolize him, Durant has adapted well to each and every environment he’s been in. He’s just as beloved in Oklahoma City as he is around the country and really around the globe. And he doesn’t appear to be homesick or stuck in the tractor beam that seems to be pulling so many of his peers home.

Durant left home as a teenager and spent a year in college at Texas before being drafted by Seattle and then moving to Oklahoma City when the franchise relocated there. He’s become an integral part of whatever community he’s lived in each and every time.

And who knows what goes on for Durant and the Thunder over the course of the next two seasons. If LeBron’s homecoming doesn’t result in any titles or even a trip to The Finals, the decision will be panned universally outside of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. A would-be trend could be over before it gets started.

That said, the Wizards, or any other team boasting the hometown connection, would be crazy not to at least dream about and explore the possibilities.

They’ll boast young stars in All-Star point guard John Wall and budding star shooting guard Bradley Beal that would be attractive running mates for any superstar on the championship hunt.

The tug of home could be powerful in 2016.

That daydream could become a reality … one that gives us flashbacks to the summer of 2014.

But in the meantime, Durant and Russell Westbrook have unfinished business in Oklahoma City …

45 Comments

  1. Lol says:

    Lololol Westbrook is a defensive liability!?!?!?!? He is roundly considered one of the best defensive PGs in the league and was literally drafted for his defense. I swear some of the people who post on here must have just started watching bball lol.

  2. okcbest says:

    All of you who say OKC got worse defensively are dumb, OKC is not and will not be lacking in defense what we lack is OFFENSE OFFENSE OFFENSE someone who can step up and consistently be a third scorer had thabo did that he may still be here, this is why reggie jackson will step in at shooting guard if OKC doesnt find someone else between Serge, Adams, Perkins, Roberson, Jones, Heustis and mcgary all of them are defensive minded and have solid D but can they create their own shot since there is not a offensive system in place? NO only person that can is reggie and lamb but both have alot to be desired when it comes to consistently putting up points and playing D but if one of them can step up CONSISTENTLY be a 3rd scorer and play some decent D OKC will be in the finals this year and have a great chance to win it all!!!

  3. Titus says:

    Ne Ne
    Kevin Durant
    Marcin Gortat
    John Wall
    Bradley Beal

    Not Bad!!!

  4. PHILLYFANFORLIFE says:

    This article is so dumb….only in the sense that Wade is able to except MIA as his adopted home but Durant can’t or hasn’t done the same for OKC??? If the writer never mentions Wade then maybe it would have more legitimacy behind his logic, in my opinion. I understand they get paid to make stories up and summer time is hard but why start messing around with Durant. (Although him on that wizards team would be fun to watch) but Durant is a loyal person and deserves to be left out of this type of media circus attention.

  5. edwin says:

    Lol Kevin Durant won’t be going to the Wizards, he’s going to Houston & team up with James Harden & D12.

  6. KDfan says:

    Harden is a big defensive liability and refuses to play defense. He wanted to start and that would have been a problem besides going over the cap if we payed him more. Someone (Carlo) says that Russ is a defensive liability. This person doesn’t understand basketball. Sefalosha was slowly turning out be be more and more of an offensive liability and letting him go is a “risk versus reward” issue. Morrow is a defensive liability, but will provide perimeter shooting firepower and spread the floor. Russ will have to be astute in finding him whenever he himself and/or KD are double teamed. Sefalosha’s defensive void can be filled by Andre Roberson (playing limited minutes), and Jeremy Lamb (who in addition will provide some offense as well…he needs to put some serious muscle on to be a better defender though). In short, our coaching staff will need to work very hard, do their homework extremely deligently and play against each team as per their strengths and weaknesses. Reggie will be Reggie and we expect him to blossom even more. Thunder UP!!

  7. cw says:

    OKC is the worst city in the NBA to live. It will be hard retaining stars in that dump.

  8. bullysix says:

    With all this going home stuff I guess everybody will be linked to the going home so I guess 5 years it will be Parker to Chicago, Wiggins to the Raptors and so on. Here the media goes with all these possibilities of players movement we are going into a new area of player movement back home.

    • DBGAMES says:

      That’s only if the can keep Beal who is still on a rookie contract and if Wall keeps developing like he did last year.

  9. Unkaned says:

    I know the Thunder are capped out (like most teams), but surprised they could find a way to squeeze in Pau Gasol — the missing piece to put at least four teams in the East in the Finals. Same was true with Miami — who gave $6M to Josh McRoberts, while Pau is playing for Chicago for $5.5. People who hang out with the likes of Placido Domingo, and want to attend medical school when their NBA careers are over, are different animals, and its a shame neither of these two teams understood that.

    • bullysix says:

      Here we go the media and its GOING HOME player movement. So I guess Parker to Chicago, Wiggins to the Raptors. So now what ever city develops the best players they will return home eventually. Ok its something to put pressure on players to do but will it become a fad?

    • bullysix says:

      Pau contract is for 3 years at 22mil I dont know that adds up to 5.5 a year

  10. jake s. says:

    The comparison is so different between James and Durant. James left his first NBA team to play elsewhere… then felt obligated to return because of the diminishing heat and the shame hovering above his head. KD left his hometown in college… just like every other player… then joined a new franchise, of which he is the perennial star… Thunder are on the rise… Heat are on the fall… KD already has all he needs to return to the finals. To anyone saying he’s going to pull a Lebron… sorry. You are either a hopeful Wizard or a Sorry Sonic.

    • kd's abeast says:

      Yea I think he will prob stay with okc hes loyal that way. Plus it was the sonic/okc foundation that drafted him in the first place

    • Dieter says:

      True that you can’t compare it to Lebrons situation, but the Thunder isn’t a team on the rise. 3 seasons ago they made their last trip to the finals, with James Harden in a very important role of the bench and no injuries for their big three. If the Thunder doesn’t reach the Finals this year, I guess Durant is gonna doubt that he ever will do again with the Thunder; We all know Westbrook can be a liability one day and a superstar on some days… is that the type of player he still thinks is the best number 2 possible? I don’t think so…. Washington really seems like a team with more upside in the future. But maybe he’s very happy in Oklahoma, there’s no way to tell what’s gonna happen.

      • Carlo says:

        Agree with you, Dieter.

        These OKC fans do not realize that current Thunder has reached its max potential with that structure.
        They let go Harden not because he was bad – or not good enough – but because he asked for a huge contract renewal they couldn’t give him as they had to pay max for Westbrook, Ibaka and pay other players.
        OKC became a quick contender in the East almost overnight but that was also their problem: instead of having high contracts distributed over several years, they had all of them concentrated in this short period: KD, RW, Ibaka, Harden. They found themselves obligated to leave somebody go away. They chose Harden for he was not part of the starting five.

        OKC fans do not understand that Thunder have a few issues, somewhat overshadowed by Durant’s ability to win games all by himself (sometimes), like LBJ.
        Thunder have a poor Defense (now even poorer without Sefolosha), a short bench and most of all a PG who’s not a PG at all, as Westbrook play is more about doing it himself and disrupting any scheme. Besides, he is defensive liability. His strength is his atheticism.

      • kd's abeast says:

        Actually thunder were better now than they were with harden checked the stats. And yea we lost sef but wat effect did he really have check his plus/minus its ridiculous he was more of a liability. And with the addition of mitch mcgary ans anthony morrow plus no injuries I can see okc going to the finals next season and possibly winning it all. Because the biggest problem for okc is not the players its the coach. I mean even in the playoffs serge, adams, and kd were number 1,3, and 6 in most blocks per game. And we did fine in the regular season wen thabo wasn’t there and we will be fine again.

    • jake s. says:

      I’m not sure that Carlo has checked any of his facts. OKC Finished in the top 5 of defensive ratings. Even if they finish 8th next season the floor spacing of morrow and unique game of McGary will be more than enough to make up for it. Defense is a team effort. It’s not just sef who kept 3′s from raining. It was Jackson, Russ, Ibaka, and KD. As Far as Harden goes… yes we miss his 3 pointers but lets be honest… Would you rather have James Harden or Russel Westbrook on your team? Check the stats. I’ll wait.

  11. OKC says:

    If you thinking losing Thabo is going to hurt OKC you don’t watch basketball. He was a liability on the court with no shot and for supposedly being an elite defender he got shredded in the playoffs. If your bringing up James Harden you really must be lost lol. It’s been 2 years and we are still an elite team that has gotten better. Look up our numbers then and now if you don’t believe me, we didn’t need to pay a one way player max to be good. Also if you think we don’t have a bench you obviously have never heard of our 6th man Reggie Jackson. Our bench at times this year was the best scoring bench in the league so I really don’t see why you would count out the Thunder or for that case put any eastern team over them including your Bulls who basically can only play D. The Mavs and the Griz where basically better than any eastern team as the 7th and 8th seed in the west. Mavs vs Spurs went to 7 games, Heat got murdered in 5 games =/.

    • kd's abeast says:

      Completely agree I hate how everyone say thunder were better wen harden was still there. Harden alone was bad luck I mean he can play in the regular season but don’t show up in the finals and he didnt only do that in 2013 with okc. He didn’t even show up this year with the rockets. Harden should be last pick wen it comes to playoffs.

    • kd35usedthunder says:

      Don’t forget that the Thunder almost lost in the first round to the Grizzlies, and probably would have lost if not for Randolph’s suspension for a “punch” and Mike Conley’s injury woes. They’re a very good team, but they can’t win it all with their current roster and coach.

  12. Mr. "I.Q."[Inglewood's Quickest] says:

    Real talk…I’m[my ego's] the real M.V.P. We go as far as I[my ego] will take us. Point blank! Rose, Jackson, Kobe, Paul…ain’t nobody out scoring me [this season or ever]. Kill all that “DEFENSE” & “THE TEAM TALK”…That’s for losers. Out score me OR OUT BOX ME, if u wanna shut me up, PARTNER! Like I told K.D….”USE YO HEAD & D. UP, MAN!!”…& let me do all the scoring. It’s my time to shine, dammit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    For real tho, win or lose, can I just do my thang…can I be M.J. for a change? We can worry about winning a championship a couple of seasons down the line or something.

  13. LakerLin says:

    Wizards need to change their name. How can anyone take them seriously with a name like that.

  14. OKC says:

    durant has a home in okc, he has no reason to leave

  15. what the Bull(s) says:

    Chuck
    July 22, 2014 at 7:52 pm
    In the meantime, and almost without any mention, the Thunder are ready, and if they win this year could be a real dynasty. Their best players are all under 26, they finally have a center, a great 3 point shooter and a steal in the draft. Kids tend to grow up.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    what…? James Harden left, Thabo Sefolosha traded…westbrook is a nut case…Durant will be gone too

    • kd's abeast says:

      Westbrook being a nutcase is a positive and negative he gets hotheaded but no oposer can touch him, nd thabo who? ?? Did u see him this season because I watched every game but I dang sure didnt notice him?? Harden choked the rockets out of a playoffs this season and okc out of 2012 so truth be told thunder are greater without him. As for durant I doubt he will be leaving soon no matter how much lbj might try to convince durant to partner with him, I mean thats obviously why lbj signed on for only 2 years with cleveland right?

      • Carlo says:

        Wrong. LBJ signed for 2 years only to profit on the next TV contracts which will bring higher salaries in two years from now.

        Maybe you didn’t notice Sefolosha ’cause he’s a defender, not an attacker and you can’t judget b’ball players.
        Without him, OKC will have an even worse D than this year, as Westbrook is non-existent in D.

      • kd's abeast says:

        @carlos sefolosha is a sg therefore hes supposed to be shooting thats his job and ur not exactly doing ur job if ur shots r not falling r u thats y reggie had to replace him. Sefolosha is a liability thats it, next sure if thats wat uthink abour lbj decision then y exactly 2 years y not 3??? It will still b there right? U as for d u have kd who held melo to 5 of 19 shooting and was number 6 in blocked shots, u have adams who got zbo kicked out in the playoffs and was number 3 in amount of shots blocked even though he played least amount of minutes, u have ibaka who is number 1 shot blocker and an amazing defender and wb has speed on his side the only one we cant b sure about is a morrow but with serge and adams down low Its gonna force other teams to take outside shots just like we were doing to the spurs, so think again.

  16. lgoflyakite7paulriden says:

    I was hoping that Seattle got a team back before Durant hit free agency so we had a chance to get him back ! GO SONICS !!!

  17. harrythehawk says:

    Kevin Durant deserves to win a title and I have high hopes for the Thunder this season.

  18. kenny says:

    I hope he stays with OKC the treo of Durant Westbrook and Ibaka could win multiple championships not saying Durant can’t do it with other players it would just be nice to see a supper star besides Dunckin to stay in a small market and win a championship

    • kd's abeast says:

      I agree kenny plus they got morrow this year which if he comes through with his shots unlike thabo will make okc one of the hardest team to defend. Imagine with morrow on the floor; if defenders double durant they will leave either morrow, westbrook, serge, or adams open for a shot. If they play honest defense no doubles; then that leaves durant to murder anyone who goes one on one with him, westbrook to tear through like a beast, or for durant/ westbrook to drive then kick it out to morrow, serge, or adams who will most likely be open for a 3, baseline jumper, or a shot right under the rim. I’m excited for next season.

  19. DenH says:

    Cant see durant doing what lebron did because not only was lebron from ohio, but he was drafted to cleveland and had the franchise on his shoulders, he had 7 years to become acclimatised to their system and structure, besides, he is building a legacy in OKC and I cant see him leaving before westbrook does..

  20. okcforever says:

    I can’t see it happening.durant wants to be more like nowitzski or tim duncan in being a one team player unlike lebron

  21. Charles says:

    Reblogged this on charlesinchargeblog and commented:
    This may be the new trend

  22. Chuck says:

    In the meantime, and almost without any mention, the Thunder are ready, and if they win this year could be a real dynasty. Their best players are all under 26, they finally have a center, a great 3 point shooter and a steal in the draft. Kids tend to grow up.

    • fourputtsforsnowman says:

      the thunder have a new shooter…but will lack defense more than last year as a result. And their stars play too many hard, tough minutes. I doubt they get over the hump…more injuries and no bench. Also, teams are starting to go straight at KD on offense, and he can’t play tough defense and particularly can’t play tough defense and then generate the offense he has the last couple years. It isn’t going to be smooth sailing for okc.

    • Carlo says:

      Really? They let go Sefolosha, one of their few defenders, and Butler. I don’t see them better than last season.

      • kd's abeast says:

        Dude check out thabo +/- he was nonexistent for a shooting guard. Even okc fans knew by the end of the regular season that thabo wud be gone, no doubt about it.