Kevin Durant and the Thunder currently have a very strenuous relationship. The former Thunder star left the franchise to go play for the Warriors and win championships. The Thunder felt spurned because they had just been very close to defeating the Warriors themselves in the playoffs. If Durant had stayed, then maybe they would have one day moved past Golden State to win their own championship (and potentially become the NBA’s next dynasty).
Those bitter feelings have somewhat calmed down with the Thunder looking ahead and adding Paul George to their roster. They’re still winning games and they feel like they are title contenders once again. Durant has moved on himself to the point where he would like to attend the Thunder’s jersey retirement of Nick Collison. KD was a teammate of Collison’s for years, going all the way back to when they were in Seattle together.
“That group was so special, that whole group from 2010 until I left there, it was special,” Durant told ESPN. “It’s about time for us to let go of all that extra stuff, and just come together — especially around this time, because it’s Nick.”
The Thunder are aware of Durant’s plans to attend the ceremony and are glad to accommodate him, sources said. Scores of ex-Sonics and Thunder teammates from Collison’s 15-year career are expected to be in Oklahoma City for the event. Durant has long credited Collison’s leadership in easing his transition into the NBA when Durant arrived as the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft. He spent a season with Collison in Seattle before the franchise relocated, and eight more together in OKC.
It’s good on the Thunder to accommodate Durant to attend the ceremony for Collison. This isn’t about them, or Durant, but about Collison and what he meant to the franchise. If Collison wants him there and he wants to attend then there’s no reason at all for him to not be there.
Hopefully, the fans in attendance will be more interested in remembering Collison than booing Durant. There is a chance that Durant could cancel his appearance if there’s a sense that the fans in attendance will ruin the moment with booing, but that doesn’t seem likely. Even fans will know to appreciate Collison in his moment.