From afar, Kevin Durant was like plenty of us last season, following the ongoing saga in Sacramento as the city tried — and eventually succeeded — in keeping its NBA team from leaving for Seattle.
But with his knowledge of the league and connection to the Emerald City, it put him in a strange spot, rooting for and against both sides.
“It’s almost like a lose-lose situation because you want to see Seattle get a team, but you don’t want to see Sacramento lose theirs,” Durant said at shootaround in Sacramento on Tuesday, in advance of the Thunder’s game against the Kings on Tuesday night.
Having spent his rookie year there, Durant loves Seattle, routinely making it a point to go back and visit in the offseason. And more than once, he’s voiced his opinion that the city deserves a team.
But having once been in the middle of a franchise’s unceremonious exit, Durant — always the politician — said he’d hate to see it happen in a city with only one professional team.
“Sacramento has been here for so long,” Durant said. “And I know, man, I’ve been a part of it. When a team is here for so long and just gets up and moves, it’s devastating for the city, for the fans.”
“Hopefully Seattle gets a team here soon. But here in Sacramento, they needed a basketball team.”