So… Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball franchise. He turned free agent (meaning he was no longer under contract and could go wherever he liked,) he chose another team, and most importantly, he was cordial when he announced it this week.
One of the NBA’s most talented players chose California’s Bay Area over Oklahoma City. There it is.
And too many of Oklahoma City’s highest quality human beings lost their goddamn minds over it.
I know this happens to professional athletes – consider LeBron James and Cleveland - but it’s disappointing to see it happen here in OKC. Burning Durant Jerseys, selling desecrated Thunder gear online, even vandalizing KD's home. Police have been posted outside his house, for the love of Mike. Just... unacceptable.
What does Durant owe us? Nothing. NOTHING.
There are rumors that he’s been unhappy with his situation here for several years. I don’t know if those rumors are true, but if they are, you would never know it. He never griped about it.
For the last 8 years, KD played his heart out. He was a valuable member of this community – giving his money, time, and celebrity to worthy causes throughout. And he’s a class act.
He’s said nothing about the abysmal treatment he’s received from the aforementioned quality human beings since his decision to leave was announced – treatment that, in my opinion, nearly vindicates that decision.
He’s said nothing publicly of any negative feelings toward teammates, coaching staff, or management of the Thunder. He made a decision for his career and for him and acted professionally.
A class act…
There are those – thankfully a plurality – who recognize this and thank him for his time and his gracious, giving nature. We’re prepared to move on and we wish Kevin Durant well.
Typically, the local media focuses on a few bad actors – if it bleeds, it leads, as they say.
I hope, though, that Durant can look past the few and see the many who remember him helping to rebuild Moore, Okla., after a devastating tornado; those who remember his visits with local children; and those who remember that he played for us and stuck with us and was one of us for the years he was here.
We’ll miss Durant – but perhaps he can leave us with one more thing: an example. Maybe we can all look to KD and ask ourselves if we can’t be a class act as well.