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Wizards hire Kevin Durant’s old high school assistant coach

Jul 17, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

Kevin Durant, Trevor Ariza Kevin Durant, Trevor Ariza

Flip Saunders, when he was coaching the Wizards, hired his son Ryan Saunders to his coaching staff.

When Randy Wittman replaced Flip, Ryan remained on Washington’s payroll – until Flip became the Timberwolves’ coach and hired his son in Minnesota.

That left the Wizards with a vacancy.

Michael Lee of The Washington Post:

Wizards Coach Randy Wittman hired David Adkins as a player development assistant, filling a vacancy on the coaching staff left when Ryan Saunders departed for Minnesota.

Adkins previously served as an assistant for the Maryland women’s basketball team – an unusual precursor to an NBA job. In itself, that makes his hire slightly interesting.

But Adkins’ job before that adds a whole other layer to the promotion.

Adkins was an assistant at Montrose Christian when Kevin Durant attended the high school. Adkins has also worked at DeMatha Catholic, a private school in nearby Prince George’s County, where Durant grew up. Not only does Adkins know Durant, he surely has ties to others close to the Thunder star.

Yup, Durant returning to his hometown Wizards is totally happening now!

Or not.

But if he gives Washington a closer look when he becomes a free agent in 2016, Adkins might have helped open the door.

  1. loubearkane - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Oh WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. calkinsrob - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    ugh i cant believe were starting this now.

  3. tomtravis76 - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    The radio home of the Wizards should just put up a billboard in a high traffic area in the DMV with Durant in a wizards uniform, simple saying “come home”…or some kind of take off of ET phone home.

    No reason the market can’t start the recruitment process, he gets lots of love here…bring in the sentimental factor of Kevin Loves ties to the Bullets along with wall and Beal…dynasty.

    • shanelsweet - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      Nice thought, but I disagree. That whole big sign thing has played out in too many other markets and badly. I like what the folks in Cleveland did when it was close. Just show up at his home or at his mom’s home. On 2nd thought, never mind, KD knows we want him home. I’m comfortable with the way Wall, Beal and Gortat recruit.

  4. jolink653 - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    KD won’t leave. Why would he? He’s on a consummate title contender with an extremely young core. They’re not even in the primes yet, and OKC can and I’m sure will offer him the most money

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      OKC showed that they are a team about saving money, not winning when they traded James Harden. That and what The Oklahomian said about him in their header I think was the turning point and I’m sure it’s now a possibility to leave to the DMV.

      • remyje - Jul 17, 2014 at 5:46 PM

        The James Harden who disappeared in the finals, and disappeared in the playoffs this year, and plays lazy defense

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        Yes. That guy. Paired with KD and Russ he could fall off afford to fall off a few games. If OKC would have kept him I would guarantee that core would have won multiple titles.

      • bkbell3 - Jul 17, 2014 at 10:44 PM

        Does the dept. of motor vehicles have a team now? I know, I couldn’t help myself. lol

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:24 PM


        Yeah, the DMV 8HourWaits. Take a number, take a seat and read the entire Holy Bible in one sitting.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      So the Wizards with a younger core and more upside (Beal and Wall are studs) in a weaker East wouldn’t be appealing to KD, versus staying in OKC where they seem to always be on the wrong side of the Western Conference Finals? I’m not saying it’s a definite, but he’d be foolish not to think about it.

      But as I’ve said, 2 years is a LONG time in the NBA. Many things can change.

    • campcouch - Jul 17, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      I pull for OKC because they have three superstars on a “smaller market” team and are successful, but one trip to the Finals doesn’t make them a title contender. The Magic went with Howard,the Cavs went with James and eventually those teams were dismantled by their stars looking for greener pastures. I’d love to see those guys stay together, but if Durant would like to go home, there isn’t much to be done to stop him. It’s hard to think this is year 7 for him, but that’s the number both Howard and James hit before they decided to roll out, especially if he sees Washington as being a viable contender with him on the team.

  5. antistratfordian - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    The Wizards are gettin’ frisky. Hey, shenanigans like this doesn’t hurt. The Cavs are saying they had nooooo idea that Tyronn Lue and LeBron were friends when they hired him. Yeah, okay.

    • tomtravis76 - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:23 PM

      Which player is currently sleeping with Lebrons mother on the Cavs?

      • antistratfordian - Jul 17, 2014 at 11:33 PM

        Let’s see… who is most like Delonte West?

        Has to be Waiters.

  6. jzone954 - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Has anybody learned anything? How can you say that a person “won’t leave” anymore ? I think Lebron has changed the way free agency is handled from both the organization and the players standpoint. If Oklahoma hasn’t won a title come 2016, KD will have his options open. Not saying he will leave, but he will defiantly have his options open.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      KD is not like the other guys who left… even though he’s close friends with all of them. He’s different though because he loves his mother sooo much and that’s so sweet! The fact that his mom lives in D.C. doesn’t mean anything! She’d want him to stay in OKC because his family is different!

  7. phillyguyindc - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    I thought this happend a week ago. I’m not sure why they hired him so far in advance or Durant being a FA. I can see the players on the current team not really bothering to listen to the guy because this is in the back of their mind and the coach has no real coaching pedigree.

    • handsomerob86 - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      Help coach up Durant = No pedigree? Not so sure about that…

  8. handsomerob86 - Jul 17, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    I bet Clay Bennett is shaking in his boots at the thought of Durant leaving. It only serves him right tho, after what he did to Seattle. Live and let live, right?

  9. csbanter - Jul 17, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    KD should put the rumors to rest now that his sole focus is winning a title with OKC. The Wiz hiring of some this coach would be a bigger story in 2016 but not today.

  10. watermelon1 - Jul 17, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    OKC might as well just trade Durant to DC right now while they can still get something in return! 😂

  11. jolink653 - Jul 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    They’ve made the Western Conference Finals three out of the last four years, and probably would have made it last year too if Westbrook didn’t get hurt. That makes them a consummate title contender. If Ibaka was fully healthy, they could have even beaten the Spurs this season too.

    Lebron left because the Cavs couldn’t find another superstar to paid with him in Cleveland. KD has Westbrook and soon Ibaka will be a bigger star than he is as he develops further. Once Perkins’s contract is up, they’ll have a lot of room to maneuver further. Presti has set this team up for the long term. Can’t see KD leaving that

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