With Oklahoma City officially out of the NBA playoffs, Thunder fans have a choice to make: Do they root for Kevin Durant to win an NBA title, or do they root for Kevin Durant to lose as quickly and as decisively and as heartbreakingly as possible?
For many Thunder fans, this isn’t much of a debate.
“Honestly, I’m going to go with maybe one percent want to see him win a championship and 99 (percent) don’t,” NBA Radio and Thunder analyst Antonio Daniels said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “When you talk about the Kevin Durant/Oklahoma City Thunder fan dynamic, it’s real. When I tell you the people of Oklahoma City were hurt, they were hurt. It wasn’t just the fact that they lost Kevin Durant; it was the fact that they lost Kevin Durant the man. You’re talking about a man that was invested in this community, that was seen as a role model – not just from the Thunder fans but also from their children, from the community, from this organization.”
Durant, 28, spent eight seasons in Oklahoma City, where he was an NBA MVP and a five-time All-NBA First-Team performer. As Daniels explained, though, Durant’s contributions to Oklahoma City went beyond stats and trophies.
“It’s different if Kevin Durant would have chosen to go to Golden State and he’s a jerk,” Daniels said. “Then it’s like, ‘Okay, well, so what? We lost a guy that can play, but he wasn’t involved in the community or anything.’ Kevin Durant put his time in the community, put his money in the community, and when you lose someone that is a good person, that’s where the hurt and that’s where the pain comes from.”
Durant and the Warriors can close out the Jazz in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals on Monday. If victorious, Golden State would face the winner of Spurs/Rockets in the conference finals. That series is knotted at 2-2, with Game 5 slated for Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.