The Cleveland Cavaliers getting LeBron James back this summer has sparked a new trend in professional sports where hometown players are being looked at as possibly returning to their hometown teams to bring home titles to the franchises they grew up watching.
The next superstar in the NBA who fans are looking towards as possibly returning home is Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.
Maryland head coach Gary Williams is among those who thinks that Durant is coming home to Washington as he sees the Thunder superstar as wanting to get a LeBron style homecoming by returning to the team he grew up watching locally as a kid.
“One interesting thing on this LeBron going back to Cleveland, Durant’s watching that very close,” Williams said on ESPN 980 last week. “He’s seeing the adulation pouring out for LeBron James for coming home. And Durant loves this area. He does. He’s back every summer. He plays at Montrose [Christian] against their high school kids sometimes; he’s out there taking charges. He just loves to play basketball. He’s been over at Maryland, he plays with the players over there. He just wants to play. And these are where his ties are. I know one thing, when his career’s over, I’d be shocked if he didn’t live in this area.”
It makes a lot of sense and while it doesn’t have the lore that LeBron James in Cleveland has, it’s still a cool story that lots of fans would get behind. There isn’t a player more likable in the NBA than Durant, who is a quiet superstar in an era where that’s a dying art. Returning to Washington would be huge for the growing team and would set Durant up to win a string of titles in a way that is now seen as proper.
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