LeBron James has Cleveland, Eminem has Kim, Kevin Durant can’t let go of Seattle, and vice versa. That’s the only way to explain his endless love for the Emerald City despite playing just one season of his NBA career there.
He’s never out of sight or out of mind.
Right now Durant is in the midst of the best basketball of his career at the same time Richard Sherman and the Seahawks are front page new for the next two weeks as they quietly push forward towards the Super Bowl.
Deep down Durant is still fueled by the desire to be the best athlete in the Emerald City. Geographical proximity doesn’t matter. Durant and Seattle are a long distance relationship.
Durant knows that every night and morning, Washingtonians are checking the Seattle Times to peep the lowdown on his latest performance yet. He’s the prodigal son.
With Richard Sherman stealing his shine though, it’s given him another reason to power through the doldrums of the NBA regular season in January. This month has literally been the most productive of his career. If the NBA scheduled a Thunder regular season game atop the Space Needle the adrenaline rush would probably push him to challenge Kobe’s 81.
Oh, Sherman can self-promote and play shutdown defense? Durant simply countered by airdropping 46 points through the nylon from behind the arc. Hitting 6-of-7 against Portland from the altitudes he was firing from is awe-inspiring. That he poured buckets all over the SuperSonics’ former Pacific Northwest rivals in Portland was a superfluous benefit.
It’s akin to witnessing a pop star send subliminal messages to his ex through his lyrics.
Back on January 9, a photo of smoke billowing from Durant’s mouth was accidentally tweeted out from his account. This was nine days after Washington’s Initiative 502 legalized marijuana in the state. The photo was innocuous enough, but was a clear message to Seattle that he too was down with the 502.
Or maybe it was a byproduct of his hot start to the season having an effect on his body temperature. Durant’s 37 points a game in January is the highest average of any previous month in his entire career. He’s scoring with a Globetrotter-like ease.
In a summer league pro-am showcase last summer at Seattle’s Pacific University, Durant dropped 63 points.
“Only Kevin Durant could do something like this in Seattle.” Durant’s pro-am teammate Will Conroy grinned.
“People wouldn’t come out like this and show this type of love for LeBron or Kobe. Not here. This just shows what he meant and what he still means to this city.”
Durant is still putting on a show for Seattle. Now, he’s just got a little competition for the sports scene’s affections.
The pro-am was a spectacle culminating with Durant telling the fans in attendance how much he missed Seattle. It's been like watching Keiko the orca whale follow Jesse around for three Free Willy films. It sounds ridiculous yet this trilogy actually happened (give a hand of applause to the ‘90s.) Durant returning to Seattle is no more implausible.
If the NBA ever returned to Seattle, would Durant return with them? Nobody truly knows. However, he’d probably seriously consider it. Oklahoma City fans, commence your tomato tossing. Just don’t aim for the head. Alas, it doesn’t seem likely that the league is returning anytime soon. If it does occur before Durant hangs up his sneakers for one last time, don't be surprised if he gives them one last thrill.