Things are changing in Oakland sports this summer, but one thing is staying the same. The Oakland Athletics announced earlier in the week that they signed Khris Davis to a contract extension.
The Davis deal is one of the many extensions MLB teams have signed with their stars since a sluggish offseason all but telegraphed to players that free agency wasn’t something owners want their players to explore. In any case, Davis now has a two-year extension worth a reported $33.5 million. The deal will keep Davis in Oakland until 2022, something that’s certainly worth celebrating.
Curiously, the initial press release the team put out included the phrase “KD Commits To Oakland.” People immediately connected the two KDs — Davis and Warriors star Kevin Durant. And many thought the phrase was a shot at Durant’s pending free agency, which has dominated a lot of talk in the NBA and certainly is of note in Oakland.
In the days that followed, the A’s have continued to use the phrase. The team changed its Twitter background and avatar to a “KD Commits To Oakland” graphic, and the team has heavily advertised that Davis is here to stay.
According to ESPN, that includes a newspaper ad the team bought that shared the same slogan. They published a story on Saturday that tied the KD things Oakland is doing to Durant. The A’s are really pushing that Davis is a building block for their franchise, and it’s a good message to advertise with. But it’s also clear that they’re using KD and the sloan in direct juxtapoistion of Kevin Durant, the town’s other KD, and what might happen this summer.
Then there’s the fact that the Warriors are leaving Oakland to cross the Bay and play outside of Oracle Arena in the fall. It’s not something Oakland fans have taken lightly, especially given the way the area has supported the Warriors, even before they were the world-beating team they’ve become. Davis is a star in his own right, and he’s allowed to go by KD. But it’s clear what the Athletics are doing here, and it amounts to throwing shade at another local team’s player while he’s still on that team. In the playoffs. Trying to win a third straight NBA title.