Why I'm Done with the Oklahoma City Thunder

I’m done with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Not because of the team—but because of the fans.

On the morning of July 4th, KD declared his independence from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Explaining his decision in The Players' Tribune, Durant said:

The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player—as that has always steered me in the right direction. But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth. With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.

Durant signed a two-year, $54 million deal with a player option in the second year.

The response was swift and vicious. Fans burned his jersey.

Barbers clowned his hair.

He was called a coward—fans even shot his jersey with automatic weapons.

Durant decided to veer away from the path a humble, “just happy to play” athlete would follow. He decided to exercise agency, and this angered many. Words like “loyalty” and “faithfulness” were thrown around in the wake of his decision. Yet the Chicago Bulls with Derrick Rose and the very Thunder with Serge Ibaka show the level of loyalty among the owners and general managers. And the way fans turned on LeBron James when he left Cleveland in 2010, and now Durant as he left OKC, shows us just how loyal the fans are to the players. Everywhere else in life, one is permitted to change employment as one sees fit, but not athletes. They are expected to be loyal to those who are not loyal to them.

Young, socially mobile black folks have been leaving Oklahoma for years. Many feel suffocated by Oklahoma’s oppressive, white supremacist culture. Young black men are treated like gods if they are athletically gifted but are largely vilified in almost every other way if they are not.  KD just learned that last week.

This past Saturday, he returned to the Chesapeake Arena for the first time since leaving the Thunder. One might expect there to be some chagrin shown by the fans; yet, one should also expect a deep and profound sense of appreciation to a man who was instrumental in putting this municipality on the NBA map. He was intentional about living in different parts of Oklahoma City to get the entire experience of its population, and this should have been met with the gratitude one might give an ex whom one loved intensely, if not possessively. That’s not the welcome Mr. Durant receved.

He was booed. He was called soft. Cupcakes were the theme of the night…and then there was this (c)overtly racist sign:

I cannot help but think of that sign in light of this incident:

Just a heads up: seeing a white man put something on the front lawn of a black man is not a good look. It participates in the history of white terroristic violence directed toward black men.

I’m off this. Too many Thunder fans have showed themselves to be a bunch of busters, Herbs, and pastry-maligning lames.

No, not every single one—but as a staff, record label and as a motherf—king crew … Thunder fans have allowed the loudest, most racist and ungrateful among them to taint the fandom as a whole.

Just as Durant had done seven months ago, I’m taking my fandom to the Golden State Warriors.

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