Kevin Durant sat at the press conference table with Russell Westbrook by his side, the two friends and teammates trying to get their minds around letting a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals slip away.
It didn’t take long for Durant to face a question about his future in Oklahoma City.
“We just lost like 30 minutes ago, so I haven’t even thought about it,” Durant said after a Game 7 loss to the Warriors ended the Thunder’s season. “… I’ll think about that stuff, I don’t know when. But we just lost an hour ago, 30 minutes ago, so I don’t know.”
While it may have been too soon for Durant to think about his long-term future, the question has loomed over the franchise for more than a year. The all-world scorer will become a free agent on July 1 and will be the most coveted player on the market.
The Washington Wizards were one of the teams most often mentioned as a landing spot for Durant, who is from the D.C. area. But then the Thunder went on a stirring run in the playoffs, beating the 67-win Spurs in the conference semifinals and pushing the defending champions to the brink in the West finals.
Durant and his Roc Nation representation have done a good job of keeping information close to the vest, so it remains a mystery as to which way he is leaning. But after coming so close to returning to the NBA Finals, and with a superstar as bright as Westbrook by his side, it now would be a surprise to see him uproot from a community he loves to chase a championship elsewhere.
“I’m just proud of what all we’ve been through this season,” Durant said. “We stuck together and we sacrificed for each other. That’s just what makes this game so special.” (AP)