Why did Kevin Durant leave the Thunder for the Warriors?
His free-agent decision, the NBA’s biggest since LeBron James‘ Cleveland-to-Miami-to-Cleveland moves, has been and will be dissected.
There’s certainly multiple reasons. Here’s another potential one.
Durant always appeared to be the perfect fit with Oklahoma City, with his humble nature and down-home demeanor. But he also was drawn to a bigger city, not necessarily for the brighter lights, but for the ability to blend. In Oklahoma City, Durant carried a larger-than-life burden everywhere he went. He’d privately lamented to friends an inability to be in public.
This is an under-discussed feature of playing in a small market, and it could even help explain why Westbrook is staying with the Thunder longer. If he’s as hungry for the spotlight as commonly suggested, Oklahoma City might provide plenty of attention. He’d be less likely to get his own day in a bigger city.
Meanwhile, Durant is now no longer the biggest star on his own team, and San Francisco/Oakland is more accustomed to celebrities.