In May, Kevin Durant wore a Seattle SuperSonics cap to a Thunder shootaround in Memphis.
Over the weekend, Durant played a streetball game back in Seattle and turned all melancholy. “I love and miss Seattle…damn” he tweeted.
To which I say, I hear you, KD. I love it myself, and I've only been a few times to the bluest skies you've ever seen.
Durant's remembrance of things past is no cause for alarm in Oklahoma City, Durant's five-year NBA home.
For one thing, who cares if Durant likes Seattle? Seattle doesn't have a franchise. If Durant hasn't gotten over his first love, he can buy a summer home.
For another thing, who wouldn't like Seattle? Great city. Beautiful weather. Gorgeous scenery. Ivar's seafood, Pike Place Market. Seattle is one of my favorite cities. I'm not going to bust Durant if he feels the same.
Of course, who knows how Durant really feels? Nothing against the gentle giant, but he's got a little politician in him. He likes to tell people what they want to hear.
Durant, like the doctors in M*A*S*H, shovels the old wind song rather smoothly. It's an endearing trait, so long as you don't fall too hard for its charms. Never is heard a discouraging word from Durant, unlike his partner, Sir Russell Westbrook, who puts his emotions on Broadway Extension billboards when not wearing them on the sleeves of his funky shirts.
Durant's words, I would pay little attention to. His actions? That's a different story. Signing a five-year contract extension with the Thunder. Donating $1 million to the tornado relief. Going to Norman or Stillwater and flashing the Hook 'em Horns sign. Those are things you can believe in.
Of course, when you have a superstar like Durant and a market like ours, it's never too early to worry that he could bolt. If LeBron James can leave Cleveland, Durant can leave OKC. Durant's signed until summer 2016, and then comes a donnybrook for his services; Durant will be 27 and just hitting his prime.
In 2016, we're not going to have an ocean and we're not going to have Seattle weather and we're not going to have a Hollywood/South Beach/Greenwich Village. So what the Thunder needs to keep Durant is the thing that attracted him to stay the first time — a rock-solid organization and a kick-butt ballteam. An NBA championship banner already hanging from downtown rafters might seal the deal.
Those are the things to worry about. Not first-love memories. Not tweets that say “Seattle will always have a place in my heart!! Love u all”
There's a certain OKC sensitivity about all things Seattle, when it comes to basketball. I've been told that Thunder chairman Clay Bennett gets riled when he sees Sonic gear at a Thunder game. My radio pal Jim Traber blew a gasket a few years ago when Nick Collison tweeted in midsummer about the difference between Seattle's mild temperatures and OKC's fiery furnace. But emotions settled; Traber and Collison even did a Kumbaya radio segment together this week.
Does Durant love Seattle? I don't know. Does Durant love Oklahoma City? I don't know. But so far, he's loved the basketball experience, which is more important than hills the greenest green.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.