On the heels of the NHL expanding to the Pacific Northwest, Durant would love to see an NBA team return to Seattle.
Warriors star Kevin Durant has an idea of what he’d like to do once his career on the court is over.
After the team’s 129-105 win over the Cavaliers in a 2018 NBA Finals rematch, he told ESPN that he would like to own an NBA team after he is done with his playing career. He also admitted that it would make a “great story” if that team were to land in Seattle.
“Of course I would,” he said. “No matter if it’s Seattle or any team, just to help young men grow. Or help men in the next phase of their lives as basketball players. Why not? Especially somebody who’s gone through it and been through just about everything as an NBA player, outside of getting traded, I’ve been through pretty much everything. I would love to give back to an organization, the knowledge that I’ve gained.
“So … yeah I’d be interested.”
Durant’s comments came just a day after Seattle was awarded an NHL expansion team for the 2021-22 season. This news brought up the long debate over whether or not the NBA will be next. Durant, who the Seattle SuperSonics selected with the second pick in the 2007 NBA draft — just a year before the team moved to Oklahoma City — has been a champion for a team returning to Seattle.
Durant and the Warriors played a preseason game in the Pacific Northwest in early October and he gave a heartfelt introduction sporting a Shawn Kemp jersey.
“It’s just the fact that I played there and I get so much love there,” Durant said. “More than any city in the league probably. Look, it would be a great story. But it would be a lot of hard work, it won’t be easy because it’s Seattle.”
Even with the backing of one of the league’s biggest stars, getting a team back in Seattle will be tough. The renovations planned at KeyArena, where the Sonics once played and home to the WNBA’s Storm as well as the future NHL team, are reportedly not up to NBA standards and the Seattle City Council recently voted down the vacation of a block that would have housed an arena for both the NHL and NBA.
But, it’s the tricky business side of things that appeals to Durant, and is one of the reasons he’s attracted to being on the other side of the operation.
“I think the business side of it is obviously really fascinating to me,” he said. “How you can market and brand a team, how you can make the fan experience better? How you can just inject and infuse energy into a city? Which can just kind of get the ball rolling, not just in basketball, but also around the whole state. I love how that is.
“But more so than anything, I love basketball, I love being around players, I love seeing different types of players, I love just seeing the progression of a player. So it would be cool to be hands-on with the group.”