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Report: Wizards still longshot for Kevin Durant after hiring Scott Brooks

Scott Brooks, Kevin Durant

FILE - In this May 31, 2014, file photo, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks, left, and forward Kevin Durant pause during a break against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of Game 6 of the Western Conference finals NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City. The Thunder fired Brooks on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)


The Wizards already hired Kevin Durant’s high school assistant coach.

Now that they’ve hired his old Thunder head coach – Scott Brooks – does that put them over the top?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Washington will be pursuing D.C-area native Kevin Durant in free agency, but the Wizards remain a long shot in his recruitment, and Brooks’ hire isn’t expected to have a significant impact on Durant’s ultimate decision-making process, league sources said.

I’m sure Durant appreciates Brooks helping his career, but when Oklahoma City fired Brooks, Durant didn’t waste time siding with the organization. Ultimately, Durant had little choice but to get in line behind Billy Donovan, but other players in Durant’s position have shown more of a public nod toward the outgoing coach.

So, the Wizards should have known better than to hire Brooks because he’d lure Durant. They probably did.

Momentum has been working against Durant to D.C. for a while.

He called Washington fans cheering for him as an opposing player “disrespectful.” In turn, they booed him.

The Wizards are reportedly planning a low-key pitch when Durant wants major attention.

The Warriors have emerged as a favorite outside Oklahoma City, which could still keep its star at least another year. Even the Spurs and Celtics seem like more credible threats than Washington.

If the Wizards didn’t realize all this, that indicates bigger problems. I’d give them the benefit of the doubt that they believe Brooks is the best man for the job, Durant or no Durant. But that doesn’t let Washington off the hook.

Brooks must still prove he adds big value in other ways.