Durant: Wizards wooing me in free agency is ‘disrespectful’

The Wizards should probably stop schmoozing Kevin Durant.
Geoff Burke/Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

This summer, Kevin Durant will be the biggest free agent to hit the open market since LeBron James, and there’s plenty of speculation about where the 27-year-old will sign. 

Will he stay in Oklahoma City or journey back home to Washington, D.C.? The Wizards and their fans are obviously rooting for the latter, but Durant isn’t fond of the way they treated him during last year’s meeting — an overtime victory for the Thunder.

Here’s what he told Yahoo’s Michael Lee:

Durant remembers the environment he encountered last season when the Thunder made their lone visit last January and Wizards fans with conflicted loyalties fawned over him, holding “KD2DC” signs and wearing Wizards No. 35 jerseys with “Durant” on the back. During one bizarre scene in the arena, a sponsored weather promotion briefly showed Durant photoshopped in a Washington jersey on the jumbo screen in the fourth quarter of the Thunder's overtime win. “It was crazy. It was crazy,” Durant said. “It was kind of disrespectful, in my opinion, because you've got a great team there already, that deserves your full, 100 percent support. And I wouldn't like that if I was on that team. And I didn't like that. But it comes with it nowadays. It's a part of it. “I'm really not good with attention,” he said. “I really don't like all this stuff to be centered around me. It comes with it, it's a part of it, but I'm still getting used to it. I learned to embrace it a little bit more, but it's still a little awkward for me.”

Durant doesn’t want the attention, but he understands he’s going to get it no matter what. He’s a transcendent offensive talent who can turn just about any team into a championship contender. And the Wizards are doing everything they can to convince him they’re the right franchise to lead — without crossing the NBA’s tampering lines, of course, although the in-game promotion certainly comes pretty close. Unfortunately for Washington, plugged-in NBA observers have pointed out that the smartest move for Durant will likely be a one-year deal to return to the Thunder before re-entering free agency as the salary cap expands following the 2016-17 season.

The Thunder are in Washington to face the Wizards on Tuesday night. Maybe this time around, they won’t lay it on so thick. 

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