The Washington Wizards were a little late to the party, but they finally joined in on free agency and the offseason deals. Once Paul Pierce decided to return to his hometown, the Wizards moved on to Plan B. A trade for Jared Dudley and a pair of one year deals to Alan Anderson and Gary Neal have the Wiz in decent shape. Nothing flashy, but good moves. Players that fit in to what Randy Wittman wants to do on the court, while leaving the team in good shape for next year’s free agency. You know, a year that features Kevin Durant.
LeBron James shocked the world last July be deciding to come home and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a move that people understood and most respected. Why couldn’t Durant come home too? Talk and wishes quickly circulated through conversations and sports talk radio. Durant could pull the same move and play in front of his hometown. It was the perfect idea.
Then the Wizards hired David Adkins as a player development assistant. Adkins had spent the last five years on Brenda Freeze’s Lady Terriapans staff and was highly respected. Before that, Adkins was an assistant coach for Durant at Montrose Christian. This was a move that seemed to many as calculated. Were the Wizards making the situation more comfortable for Durant or was this just a good hire?
“KD2DC” was born. It was everywhere. Banners, hashtags on social media, signs, t-shirts. Fans attended games at the Verizon Center with custom made Durant Wizard jerseys. I mean, it made too much sense, right? Durant is from the area, will be a free agent and the Wizards are starting to show improvement. John Wall was starting to settle down, become a star and was commanding respect from players around the league, including Durant.
A whole season went by with questions, rumors and speculation. What will Durant do? Where will he play? Another season is ahead with Oklahoma City, but the focus is on Durant and his decision next summer. He has done his best to avoid and dodge questions. And when he has answered, he has done so carefully by expressing his desire to win as many games as possible now for the Thunder. Durant has talked about his love for home and that he grew up supporting the Bullets/Wizards. Wiz fans are enjoying the development of their team, but everyone is keeping their eye on the Durant situation. Fans continue to say that the team is going in the right direction, but they could go further with Durant.
So the million dollar question is what happens if Durant decides not to sign with Washington? With so much hype and talk about Durant coming home, how will fans handle not being on the winning end of KD’s decision? I don’t think it would end in a jersey burning party because Durant never played for the team to start, but will fans be OK with not having #35 running the court and hitting game winners for the home team?
Fans need to be cautious going into next offseason. To this point, Durant hasn’t said anything to make us believe he will come to D.C. He hasn’t said he wouldn’t, but now he is still on the Thunder’s roster and there is a lot of time left. Some could be potentionally setting themselves up for a major letdown next July. Just sit back and enjoy the growth of the team in front of you. Have wishful thinking, but know that nothing is guaranteed. Coming home sounds like a great story, but in this case, it’s Durant’s story and his decision.
Let me know your thoughts. You can follow me on Twitter @WaringPatrick