With the Thunder making its annual appearance in Washington, the last three days have been filled with talk about whether Kevin Durant has any desire to return to his roots and play for the Wizards.
Durant was first asked about the possibility by filmmaker and actor Spike Lee during an appearance on his Sirius XM radio show on Thursday night. Durant told Lee it's not something that interested him.
“I love playing there (in Oklahoma City),” Durant said. “The city fits me. I'm one of those guys that just likes to chill. That's exactly how the town is. The people are supportive. The fans are there all the time at the games. Every game feels like it's a sellout. They just support us so much.”
But that won't stop Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall from recruiting Durant, whose contract with the Thunder runs through the 2015-16 season. Wall and Durant have spent time working out together in the offseason under the same trainer, and Wall said he's already begun planting seeds to get Durant to D.C.
“I throw a little slick shots here and there,” Wall told The Washington Post. “Try something.”
Durant was again asked about the possibility of playing for the Wizards prior to Oklahoma City's game at Washington on Saturday. And he again downplayed the idea.
“I had to buy 100 tickets tonight. I spent a lot of money on tickets tonight. Imagine if I played here,” Durant said when asked if he's given it any thought. “I don't even want to think about that. But I haven't given it any thought. Growing up here and, like I said, taking the train down to Gallery Place-Chinatown to come watch these games as a kid, I never really thought about coming home to play. I love Oklahoma City. I love coming here and visiting. Hopefully, we can change (our losing trend at Washington) and get a win tonight. That's all I'm thinking about.”
NO STAT ALL-STARS
Thunder coach Scott Brooks again backed starting center Kendrick Perkins when asked what made sitting him so effective in the Thunder's win Wednesday at Miami.
“With Perk — and you guys are obviously a lot smarter than me — I look at stats and I try to analyze it and use the things I feel are important,” Brooks said. “But until somebody can come up with a stat on chemistry, a stat on intangibles and a stat on heart, it's hard to judge guys like Perk, guys like Nick (Collison) or guys like (Derek Fisher). Because those guys bring those things that numbers don't do it any justice.”
ADVICE TO MAYNOR
Durant received an unexpected phone call upon arriving in Washington early Saturday morning.
It was friend and former teammate Eric Maynor.
“Eric called me as soon as I got off the plane last night, at 2 in the morning,” Durant said before facing Maynor's Wizards. “I was wondering what he was doing up. He was just chilling. I guess he missed me. So I keep in touch with him and his family. He's always going to be a brother.”
Maynor has struggled mightily in his debut season with the Wizards and has fallen out of the rotation. He's averaging 2.3 points, one rebound and 1.7 assists while shooting 29.2 percent in 9.3 minutes.
“He's a vet,” Durant said. “He knows how to handle it. Just keep working.”
Washington coach Randy Wittman on the legacy of departed NBA commissioner David Stern: “We came in the same year, as a player and as commissioner. So I've been here for all 30 years of what he's done. I think he's going to go down as one of the great commissioners of all sports when it's said and done.”