It’s been seven months since Kevin Durant decided to leave the only franchise he ever knew to sign with the Warriors and today the eight-time All-Star will make his much-anticipated return to Oklahoma City. Sure, for nine seasons Durant helped put the Thunder on the map, but don’t expect his reception at the Chesapeake Energy Arena to be anything less than hostile.
On one hand, Durant treated the franchise that drafted him with relatively unprecedented respect, on the other, well… sports fan logic. As Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News tweets, Durant didn’t force a trade out of Oklahoma City and he didn’t put up a stir mid-season and distract the Thunder from their 2015/16 campaign. He waited dutifully until the offseason before making a decision well within his rights as a player.
Still, though his decision is certainly defensible, it didn’t win over very many fans outside of the Bay Area. Shortly after Durant’s personal essay detailing his thought process regarding the move to Oakland was published, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN tweeted a sentiment to which skeptical fans could relate. Smith called Durant’s decision a “weak move”, lambasting the superstar for opting to sign with the team that just rallied to eliminate the Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.
Needless to say, when Durant takes the floor for the Warriors this evening, emotions will be at an all-time high. Earlier this morning Howard Beck of Bleacher Report tweeted that the ugliest sports scene he ever witnessed first-hand was LeBron James‘ first game back in Cleveland after signing with the Heat in the summer of 2010.
How do you think Durant’s return to Oklahoma City will go? Do fans have the right to boo an ex-star that did so much for the franchise? If so, how far is too far when fans react negatively?
Weigh in below!