Kevin Durant recently said some warm words for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Paul Pierce, the former Celtic champion and now ESPN basketball analyst, believed that he might eventually return to his former NBA team before his career ends.
In a recent comprehensive interview with Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, Durant had stressed his affection for the city by saying that OKC is going to be in his blood forever.
Durant praised the Thunder franchise, saying that everything the front office does is for the “development of the players.” The eight-time All-Star and NBA champion then continued to tell Bucher about his unforgettable memories during his eight-year tenure in OKC, which he described as “deeply personal.”
From aiding Thunder operations manager Wilson Taylor proposal to his wife to becoming the godfather of former Thunder defensive associate coach Brian Keefe’s daughter, Durant described the relationships he made there as something that “is going to last forever” and is “way, way more important than a championship.” He even said that he and his former teammate Russell Westbrook are still not on speaking terms, but they “eventually will.”
Durant then compared his move to the Golden State Warriors as like being in college or moving to another city to work. He said that he expected the Thunder’s personnel to understand his decision, most of all because he felt that they “loved” him.
“That stuff right there is going to last forever. That stuff is way, way more important than a championship. Me and my family didn’t just erase those eight years in OKC. D.C. and OKC is where we grew up—my mom, my brother, me. I am OKC. I’m still OKC. That blue is going to be in my blood forever. That place raised me. I have people there who would take a bullet for me and vice versa. But there’s a point in a young man’s life, just like when he goes off to college, or when he moves to another city to get a job, he’s got to make a decision for himself. You’ve got to make a decision that’s best for yourself and you would expect the people that love you the most to say they understand.”
Durant had received a lot of criticisms from the media and his former teammates because of the transfer to Oakland. He was called on social media and by different television analysts many names such as “snake,” “spineless,” “gutless coward,” and “cupcake.”
Pierce particularly criticized Durant as someone who does not “want to work no more,” referring to him losing his competitive spirit by joining a team that is already loaded with the Big Three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Pierce, however, did call Durant the “new best player in the NBA” after the Warriors won the championship last June, per the New York Daily News.
In the YouTube video below, Pierce told an ESPN panel that he believes Durant could “do what LeBron (James) did,” referring to James’ return to his “home” team Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2014 free-agency period and go back to the Thunder.
“He (Durant) said he is OKC, he still loves the city,” Pierce said. “He might win another championship in Golden State and may go back to OKC, who knows?”
Pierce continued that Durant and the Thunder had a bad breakup. He compared it to a boy-girl relationship and said that if “you’re starting (to) talk about her again,” then that is an indication that you want to be reconciled.
“You got to let it go. I think you do (have) to let it go, unless you, in the back of your mind, you think ‘I want to get back,'” Pierce ended.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]