On Tuesday night, the Golden State Warriors will be in the nation's capital to take on the Washington Wizards.
The game has long been one of the most highly anticipated Wizards games of the season, and not just because of reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry. and surging NBA villain Draymond Green.
With Kevin Durant joining the Warriors in free agency, Tuesday will mark his first appearance in Washington, D.C. since spurning the Wizards this past offseason.
Durant, a native of Prince George's County, did not even consider the Wizards as one of his potential landing spots, and fact not lost on many Wizards fans.
As it turns out, the reason why Durant didn't consider the Wizards was rather simple.
he just didn't want to play at home.
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Durant recently spoke with Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post, and opened up about the offseason.
“I don’t want to open up anything in the past, but I really just didn’t want to play at home,” Durant said. “It was nothing about the fans. Being at home, I was so happy with that part of my life – playing at home, being in front of friends, hanging with friends and family every day. That was a part of my life that has come and gone.
“I was like, I’m trying to build a second part of my life as a man living in a different part of the country, just trying to do different things. I did everything I was supposed to do in the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area, I felt. Now it’s time to do something new. I didn’t want to come back. That’s just my thought process behind it. It had nothing to do with basketball, the fans, the city.
“It was just like, ‘All right, that part of my life I’ve conquered already. What’s next?’”
Durant spent his entire childhood in the DC area, and even after leaving home to attend to the University of Texas, the idea of returning home for his professional career was just not something Durant wanted to do.
It's hard to blame him.
Durant did not owe it to Washington, D.C. There is no clause or rule saying that a player has to play with his hometown team when they become free agents. Just because LeBron James returned to Cleveland afte finding championship gold in Miami does not mean that Durant must do the same.
Would it have been nice for the native son of Prince George's County to return home and help John Wall and Bradley Beal turn the Wizards into a bona fide NBA Finals contender? Absolutely. But it was his decision, not the fans, and he decided to go elsewhere.
The Wizards have done pretty well without Durant, too. They will get their chance to prove it on Tuesday.