Washington Wizards fan/local artist, Paperboy Prince, hopes to raise $20 million in order to bring free agent Kevin Durant back home
It’s no secret that the Washington Wizards and its fans are clamoring for Kevin Durant, who’s officially become an unrestricted free agent after the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals, to come home.
Fans have started a “KD2DC” movement long before Durant hit the free agent market.
There have been signs, custom-made jerseys and chants at the Verizon Center. Heck, even the Wizards flashed a picture of the former MVP donning their jersey on the jumbotron during a home game.
While Wizards fans typically aren’t “crazed,” the small fan-base wants their voice to be heard. They want Kevin Durant to come home and they’re willing to do whatever it takes – even if that means they have to raise $20 million.
Paperboy Prince, an artist based out of the DMV area, recently created a GoFundMe page that’s dedicated to raising $20 million for the Durant hometown movement.
After releasing a mixtape titled “Young Wizard,” which featured songs created for the team’s starting five and the cheerleaders, “Paper” became a fixture inside the Verizon Center.
Noticeably donning a long fur coat, a Game Boy around his neck and a flashy hat, Paper quickly became one of the most recognizable fans in attendance.
A season-ticket holder, Paper can often be seen behind the team’s bench, just feet away from owner Ted Leonsis, whom he’s interacted with on several occasions.
Paper claims to hold the record for most Washington Wizards wins while he’s in attendance and possesses the opposite of the “Lil B” curse.”
“It’s called the Paperboy Prince Blessing. A lot of the Wizards – the Wizards security – they already know. I sit behind Ted [Leonsis], which is basically right behind the bench. When they call a timeout, the players actually point at me – they know me,” Paper said.
Paper, who’s been going to Wizards games since he was 10-years-old, recognizes that the team doesn’t get much love from celebrities like the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
That’s why he’s taken it upon himself to create that sort of environment.
“D.C. isn’t a town where it’s like the Lakers, where a bunch of celebrities come to the games, so sometimes these guys don’t feel it,” he said. “But when I’m in there, they feel the blessing, the love and the energy I’m giving off on the sidelines. It’s unmatched. It’s crazy.”
Paper is currently working on “big things” with the team and released a track titled “KD2DC” after the first donation to the GoFundMe page was made.
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The song has many references that will hit home for Durant, including one featuring his mother – “the real MVP” Wanda Pratt.
While the $20 million goal set for the fundraising page might seem absurd to some, Paper is optimistic that Washington Wizards fans will be able to get it done.
Paperboy Prince doesn’t want people nor the fans to believe it’s an unrealistic goal since it would only take 1,000,000 fans to donate $20 each.
Currently, Paper is $19,999,994 away from reaching the goal.
The “KD2DC” track was only released on Wednesday, so Paper believes there’s still time to create a buzz and get the movement going.
“I’m 100 percent positive we can reach that number because we’re Wizards fans. We’re the best, smartest and most amazing fans in the world,” Paper said.
“We’re trying to get one of the most talented players that has ever walked on this earth, so sometimes you have to do things that have never been done before. We’re going to make it happen.”
The $20 million, if reached, would be given to Ted Leonsis or to Durant’s favorite charity, according to Paper. However, with free agency underway in about a month, Paper doesn’t have much time to waste. Still, he’s confident it will happen.
“The whole movement is trying to turn that magic, that feeling D.C. has and bring it to Kevin Durant. We can all tell – I’ve been watching Kevin Durant since high school – he’s not playing as well as he could,” he said.
“He’s not playing to his full potential because he misses home. He always talks about it, he’s here during the off-season, he loves the area, we have beautiful girls and it’s just perfect. It’s a bigger market than Oklahoma City.”
There are a lot of things that Wizards fans would do to see their hometown hero rock the red-white-blue uniform in Washington. Will they be willing to donate to Paper’s GoFundMe page? Only time will tell. One thing is certain, though: Washington Wizards fans want Kevin Durant in D.C.
“If you’re a Wizards fan, it’s all about believing. You have to believe. It’s about the essence of a Wizard – making something out of nothing,” Paper said.