Why Washington Wizards Should Continue Kevin Durant To DC Movement


By this point, everyone is tired of the whole “Will Kevin Durant come play for his hometown team” — the Washington Wizards narrative.

There was a hashtag create, #KD2DC, as well as groups of Wizards fans on Facebook that want district’s own to come home. A lot of the Wizards social media community (including this site!) has mentioned how tired of it they are and Kevin Durant himself weighed in, calling it disrespectful to the team.

Well, I can say that I’m not one of the people who is tired of it. In fact, I hope it continues and ramps up as the months roll along to July 2016, when Durant can make the decision to stay or leave OKC.

As a sports franchise, the ultimate goal is to win a championship (or multiple) for the city that you are representing. This current Washington Wizards/Bullets franchise haven’t done so since the 1978-79 season. That’s up to 36 years if you’re counting for the DC area to go without an NBA championship.

A lot of it was playing in an Eastern Conference that was dominated by the Celtics and Pistons in the 80’s, an iconic all time (possibly THE all-time greatest) player in Michael Jordan and his Bulls in the 90’s, and a young fella in LeBron James that seemed to will his team to victory against the Wizards in those early 00’s playoffs series.

After the Gilbert Arenas led Wizards squads of the early/mid 2000’s, the franchise found itself in a rebuilding stage. Gone were the veteran Wizards squads that you could count on making the playoffs, and their replacements were a bunch of young, troubled, lazy (but talented) players in DC.

The Wizards were so bad, that they routinely found themselves in the lottery (early lottery at that), but with those hard times, they landed a few gems.

Of course, the 2010 number 1 overall draft pick, John Wall ended up being more than even the best basketball minds could imagine. After a recent victory over the San Antonio Spurs, veteran head coach Gregg Popovich called Wall’s play “brilliant” which is as close as being crowned in this league as you can get coming from Popovich.

In 2012, the Washington Wizards also landed the young, but uber talented shooting guard out of the University of Florida with the third pick, Bradley Beal.

Beal has always had the talent and jump shot for him to get the “superstar” level, but injuries have limited his ceiling somewhat in the past few seasons.

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Beal got off to a hot start this year, but injured his shoulder and had to miss the OKC game with the injury.

These two form what could potentially be a legendary backcourt for the Wizards.

The issue is, after watching a Wizards game, you always come out of it saying, “yeah…Wall/Beal are the future and tough to handle, but I feel that the Wizards need maybe ONE more piece to contend”. Well, that piece is definitely Durant.

One of the more frustrating things about going to the Verizon Center and watching a Wizards game is the amount of fans that the other team usually have show up. They come out in force and openly take glee in rooting for the demise of the home team.

The fans show up in other team’s jerseys, t shirts and even have coordinated chants during the game. Even DC based people who have no connection to the opposing team shout the loudest for past championship teams such as the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers or the even the San Antonio Spurs.

Rooting for “winners” in a particular sport is not only fun, but it’s easy. Your “team” wins most of the time, you always have bragging rights over other lesser teams and you don’t have to worry about heartbreaking losses that could make or break your team’s season.

Being a fan of a franchise that’s had its ups and (wayyy) downs such as the Wizards takes work and dedication — something the casual fan doesn’t have.

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They have had some regular season and playoff success these past few years, but they still aren’t considered a powerhouse franchise around the league.

Plus, the NBA is a superstar league, so while fans may not like the Golden State Warriors franchise as a whole, they LOVE watching the very talented reigning MVP Stephen Curry work his magic so people jump on the Warriors’ bandwagon by default.

The Washington Wizards landing an iconic superstar with ties to the area such as Durant would definitely change the Verizon Center’s landscape on who is cheering for the home team and who is there to cheer on a “winner”.

Another reason I’m OK with the excessive Durant to DC narrative is…..why not?

How many teams in any sport have a chance to land a superstar who will be considered an all-time great that is actually FROM the area the team plays in? Cleveland is that rare exception where the superstar (LeBron James) actually felt he owed the people of Ohio a championship so he returned and he took the team to the NBA Finals his first year back.

Durant can have the same impact.

The Washington Wizards already have an all-star caliber backcourt in Wall/Beal, a do it all glue guy in Otto Porter and more than serviceable — for the moment — center in Marcin Gortat. Kevin Durant is a 6’10” superstar with unlimited range and underrated rebounding skills.

Once Durant locks in and gets hot, he is a legitimate candidate to drop 50 on an opposing team. He’s a former MVP that is a top 3 player in the league right now. If Durant were to join the Wizards, they would automatically have the most talented starting five in the league and would be favored to come out of the East.

A lot of Wizards fans have been used to bad luck that they feel like they don’t want to get their hopes up only to be shattered once again by a what-if scenario with Durant. Is it possible that Durant ends up re-signing with OKC? Absolutely, but the Wizards and its fans shouldn’t be so quick to give up on landing Durant.

Next: Wizards Fans Need An Attitude Adjustment

While I agree with the sentiment that we should start to appreciate what we already have and focus on the now, it never hurts to think ahead to where this franchise can go IF they do land the big fish.