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Durant on playing in OKC: “I don’t have any plans to move”

Sep 6, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Durant is seen in the second half of their Game 1 NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff basketball game against Memphis Grizzlies in Oklahoma City Reuters

When Kevin Durant switched agents to Jay Z’s Roc Nation, there were some fans trying to suggest this was KD’s first step out of the NBA’s second smallest market, Oklahoma City.

Durant told OKC fans to chill.

Now he has said again he has no plans to leave.

He is on a tour of Europe to sell some Nikes and while in France he did a Q&A with fans where he was asked directly about his plans to bolt. Royce Young at Daily Thunder found the video of the interview and had Durant’s answer.

“I like where I’m at right now. I enjoy playing for OKC. As of today, I love it there, man. I want to be there. I love the fans, I love my team, I love everything about the city. I don’t have any plans to move.”

First, the facts: Durant is under contract for this season and two more after it. He is on a max deal and is not a free agent until the summer of 2016.

There are two ways to look at this.

First is the version I went with in my headline — he says he has no plans to move. He’s happy. There are plenty of NBA stars who are restless in small and middle sized markets and are looking to bolt at the first chance, but Durant is built differently. He has a personality that works well in the smaller market. If any superstar player could spend his career outside big cities, it could be Durant.

The other way to view it is to blow up his “as of today” comment as a sign he could leave come 2016. If he was frustrated at the cost saving moves of the Thunder had left them without James Harden or Kevin Martin, you could understand that.

The reality here is pretty simple — Durant wants to win. Multiple titles. When he can be a free agent in 2016 he is going to make a decision about OKC based on how the team has done and how it is poised for the future. It will be about how much he trusts the front office of the organization. It’s the same calculation every star player has to make: Kobe Bryant in 2004, LeBron James with the Cavaliers, even Dwight Howard with the Lakers this summer.

Right now, with the team they have in OKC and the opportunities in front of him, it’s hard to picture Durant leaving. But in three seasons things could feel radically different. Three years is an NBA eternity.

I’m sure between now and then Durant will get asked variations of this same question 453,971 times, so we can discuss plenty more over the next few years.

  1. adamsjohn714 - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Management sure has made some poor decisions. They’re young, so they could improve marginally, but as long as Perkins is on the roster and playing major minutes, they won’t win a ring. He’s too bad at too important of a position.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      Well time will tell if Adams (7 feet) and Jerret (6′ 10″) will pan out as a replacement for Perkins…

      Can’t be worse…

    • thomaskouns - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:18 PM

      You are totally wrong…..

      The reason OKC had to trade Harden is because they made very good decisions. They were a small market team that drafted very very very well and couldn’t afford the level of talent they had drafted and acquired.

      Do some research… Their front office is widely considered amongst the best and brightest in the league.

    • adamsjohn714 - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:23 AM

      who did they draft very very well that other teams couldn’t have picked? Durant wasn’t a sleeper… and they would have picked Oden if they got the #1 pick. So a tad lucky that they got #2. Ibaka was a good pickup. Harden was good, but then they flummoxed that decision because they wanted to pay Russel Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins instead of having the best SG in the NBA in his very early 20s. Looks like a bunch of dumb moves sprinkled with some decent ones. That’s why they went from being a very young, very talented team on the verge of a title (or several), to a team that gave away a key piece for essentially nothing (when they didn’t even have to for at least a year). Their player evaluations are way out of wack. Very Yay Points!!! That’s why they chose Westbrook over Harden. Also, I hate to beat the Perkins thing to death, but he’s been awful for years for them. Why do they continue to play him, even after they made the stupid move of paying him?

  2. zoomy123 - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Too bad Kevin Durant is not going to win a championship in OKC any time soon. OKC has gotten worse in each of the last 2 seasons: First they lost Harden (for nothing) and now they lost Kevin Martin (for nothing). 3 years from now when Durant is 28 with no ring he’ll understand how LBJ felt in 2010. Hell, he might even feel worse considering that his OKC team is significantly better than LBJ’s team in Cleveland ever was.

  3. asimonetti88 - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    I wonder if this would be a question if he played for a team in Seattle.

  4. adcdv9561 - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    @Zoomy123 okc 2010 lost in first round of playoff 2011 lost in conference round 2012 lost in finals and 2013 lost in 2nd round of playoff due to westbooks knee injury. Okc could have easily gone to the finals last year if not for that injury. They have gotten better every year even without harden they had a 60 win season. They are the second best team in the league as long as Durante and Westbrook are healthy.

  5. antistratfordian - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:03 PM


    • jimeejohnson - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:10 PM

      Fragment police.

  6. farvite - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    We will welcome you back to Seattle, Kevin.

    • casualcommenter - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      …You mean, after he retires?

      There’s no team for him to join in Seattle.
      Considering that a Seattle-based ownership group recently failed in their attempt to buy one of the NBA’s worst franchises (Kings), it doesn’t look like there will be a team there any time in the next couple of years. I can’t think of an easier target for them to pursue now.

  7. skinsovieterps - Sep 6, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Come home to DC!!!

  8. Anoesis - Sep 6, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Durant might not “have any plans to move,” and I’m sure Thunder fans don’t want to see him leave, but things change. Who’s to say he isn’t traded before his contract runs out? 2016 is a long way off in basketball terms.

  9. jimeejohnson - Sep 6, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    New York’s got the ways and means, it just won’t let you be.

  10. BigBeachBall - Sep 7, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    My spell spell checker auto-corrected Durante’s name to ‘Durantula’… wtf is going on

  11. whoisrdymlz - Sep 7, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    The fans in OKC feel such angst and jealously (like some lovestruck teenager) because they know they don’t deserve this team, its players, or any of their success. Seattle does.

    Maybe Durant can right some of the wrong that Bennett and Stern committed against the fans in the Emerald City.

  12. MyTeamsAllStink - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Jay Z says otherwise

  13. abchome - Sep 8, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I believe Durant has no plan to leave, or stay, at this moment. He most likely hasn’t thought about it yet.

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