Kevin Durant thinks his No. 35 jersey will be retired by the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors soon after he retires from the NBA.
Kevin Durant is one of the best basketball players in NBA history, but his departures from the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors were not without controversy.
The former No. 2 overall pick out of Texas is now in his third season with the Brooklyn Nets after spending his first nine NBA seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder, where he helped them reach the 2012 NBA Finals. After that, he moved to the Bay Area in 2016 during NBA free agency, where he helped the Warriors win two championships in three years.
KD Durant said in Logan Murdock’s story for The Ringer that if the Thunder and maybe even the Warriors didn’t retire his No. 35, it would hurt him.
Here’s how he thinks about his history possibly being retired by his two previous teams.
“Every one of these places I played is my home,” said Durant to The Ringer. “I can imagine me when I’m done, and I don’t think any one of these franchises would be like, ‘No, K, what you did here is not a part of our history.’ I’m going to be a Hall of Famer when I’m done, one of the greatest to ever play. If you don’t want me to be a part of your program when I’m done playing, then that’s personal.”
Durant would also include this comment to further strengthen his position on the subject.
“OKC has to retire my jersey,” said Durant. “It wouldn’t even be good for the game of basketball if they didn’t. The same with Golden State. I’m still doing what I’m doing here in Brooklyn, but if I continue on what I’m doing four or five years, then I’ll feel the same way about this program. I better have a home. Because I feel like I am basketball. I breathe it. This is my DNA. I put in the time and respect and love for each one of these programs on and off the floor to get that type of recognition. If I don’t do it, then it’s personal.”
Perhaps the Nets will have to raise his No. 7 jersey as well, depending on how good his stint in Brooklyn goes. Isn’t it true that the third time’s the charm?
Kevin Durant needs to have his Thunder and Warriors jerseys retired
The good news is that Durant is almost certainly correct. Oklahoma City would be insane not to contemplate retiring Durant’s jersey the moment he announces his retirement. If we’re being completely honest, what history do they have without him?
Although he may not have the same level of loyalty as Nick Collison, the NBA team for which Durant is best known has to be Oklahoma City.
In terms of Golden State, he was an integral part of the Warriors’ two most recent championships. As a result, the Warriors will raise his No. 35 jersey at some point. It won’t happen right away, and it won’t happen before the Warriors retire Stephen Curry’s No. 30. As a result, Draymond Green’s No. 23 and Klay Thompson’s No. 11 Durant will have to wait as a result.
Even if the NBA’s greatest wanderer has always been messy, Durant is lucky that he has never played for a really historic organization in the league.
Imagine if he’d left teams like the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, or even the Philadelphia 76ers with a shattered exit. Durant’s reputations in his first two NBA teams will be good for him in the long run.
If the Nets decide to retire his No. 7, he must first lead this team to the NBA Finals.