The best thing that can happen to a sports fan is that the team he or she roots for ends up with a player that could potentially become the best in the sport. Such was the case in 2007 when the Portland Trailblazers followed conventional wisdom and selected big man Greg Oden with the 1st pick in the NBA draft instead of Kevin Durant AKA KD, AKA The Durantula, AKA George Gervin Jr. It was a foregone conclusion the Seattle Supersonics would take Durant with the 2nd pick, but I had to watch the draft anyway just to make sure nothing stupid or funny happened. Sure enough the Sonics did the right thing and picked the player who could save basketball in the Emerald City. At the time Seattle was mired in a bureaucratic stand off between an idiot mayor, a slimy Oklahoma oilman, and the czar of the NBA David Stern. The Sonics were sold by coffee mogul Howard Schultz to Clay Bennett in 2006 and Clay promised to keep the team in Seattle so long as the city built a new arena. After 3 months it was apparent new ownership had ulterior motives. As if it wasn't bad enough Clay planned to pick up the Sonics and move them to OKLAHOMA CITY he was going to take the future of the NBA with him. In the back of my mind I felt Kevin Durant would show the fans of Seattle and city officials that he was the real deal worth fighting for.
Kevin didn't disappoint earning rookie of the year honors averaging 20 points per game. City officials didn't do their part however and the worst case scenario became reality. Seattle Supersonic Kevin Durant would become Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant. I knew Seattle was losing a great player, but I had no idea he would get to be so good so fast.
Kevin Durant's 2nd season was difficult to watch. He was coming into his own quietly averaging 25 points while ownership sold out every game and put together a nice young nucleus around him. I couldn't bring myself to be happy for Kevin because I felt cheated. I felt like his maturation into a basketball god should be witnessed in Seattle. OKC couldn't possibly appreciate him the way Seattle would. There was jealousy, envy, and disgust running through my veins. Not only was Kevin Durant putting up big numbers on the court, he was establishing himself as a leader and a pillar in the community off the court. He even attended summer league games to support his team mates and give them encouragement. What superstar does that?
Midway through Kevin's 3rd season I started to feel ill. I watched an interview with Kevin and Magic Johnson where he proclaimed his love for OKC and that he wanted to play his entire career there. The Bennett's had brainwashed him into thinking OKC was the place to be. If he loved OKC imagine the dedication and devotion he would've shown for Seattle? He would eventually end the season winning his first scoring title (averaging 30 points a game) and signing a 5 year extension to stay with the Thunder. If he wasn't going to be a Seattle Supersonic the least he could do was play in New York, Chicago, or LA where everyone could see how great he was. Playing in OKC for 5 more years was a slap in the face.
Then came USA Basketball and the World Championships. Without Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, D Wade, Chris Bosh, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, or Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant single handedly put the USA team on his back and carried them to a gold medal. He simply annihilated the competition winning the FIBA World Championship MVP setting all time records for scoring in the process. It was at that point I got sick to my stomach. Kevin Durant had become unbearable to watch. His skills were other worldly and at 22 his potential was limitless. Soring titles? MVP's? Championships? There's nothing Kevin Durant couldn't accomplish and he would be doing it all in Nowereville, OK.
Kevin Durant's exit from Seattle to OKC is like no other occurrence in the history of sports. There's no other comparison. It is the equivalent of the Colts drafting Peyton Manning and then moving the team to Des Moines, Iowa. It is the equivalent of drafting Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or Lebron James and then moving the team to Cheyenne, Wyoming. He didn't get traded or leave in free agency, they UP AND MOVED THE TEAM! The better Kevin Durant gets, the more it hurts to watch and he's getting better everyday. I know I sound like sour grapes, but I have good reason. It's not everyday a city gets robbed of their basketball team with the potential MVP of the league on the roster. There's no possible way to make up for this injustice. For now I'll have to watch in amazement and wonder what could have been. Life is not always fair.