Back in 2013, then-OKC star Kevin Durant made an interesting statement in an interview on The Dan Patrick Show.
“Believe it or not, I wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors, that was my favorite team. They were a new team when I was growing up, so I wanted to be a part of that,” Durant said.
He also cited Vince Carter as a reason for his fandom:
“His enthusiasm he showed, just his athleticism, and how he brought Toronto from being one of the newer teams in the league to almost going to the finals. He changed the culture there in Toronto.”
“I wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors, that was my favorite team.” Kevin Durant on who he wanted to play for growing up. @dpshow
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) January 17, 2013
He wanted to be a Raptors growing up. Six years later, Durant is playing against the Raptors in the NBA Finals.
His previous desire to play in Toronto has since been buried, and nobody has thought for a second that he would end up playing for the franchise. Even now, most think New York is the place to go. But if Kawhi leaves and the Raptors are left broken-hearted, it is not too late for Durant to save day, especially as a 30-year-old superstar entering free agency.
Regardless of KD’s decision though, the Raptors might be more appealing to stars then we are giving them credit for. The city is electric, the franchise is smart and stable, and there is a bright and storied history of players who have worn that jersey. KD was once a fan, who is to say everybody else isn’t?