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Kevin Durant expects for the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors organizations to retire his No. 35 jersey shortly after he calls it a career.
Now in his third season with the Brooklyn Nets franchise, the former No. 2 overall pick out of Texas spent his first nine NBA seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, helping them get to the 2012 NBA Finals. He then bolted for the Bay Area in 2016 NBA free agency, helping the Warriors win their two most recent titles during his three years there.
Though it would be absolutely foolish for the Thunder and arguably the Warriors not to retire his No. 35, Durant hinted that it would be personal if it did not happen in Logan Murdock’s feature for The Ringer.
Here is how he feels about the prospects of his two former teams possibly retiring his humber.
“Every one of these places I played is my home,” said Durant to The Ringer. “I can imagine me when I’m done, and I don’t think any one of these franchises would be like, ‘No, K, what you did here is not a part of our history.’ I’m going to be a Hall of Famer when I’m done, one of the greatest to ever play. If you don’t want me to be a part of your program when I’m done playing, then that’s personal.”
Durant would offer this quote as well to really solidify his stance on the matter.
“OKC has to retire my jersey,” said Durant. “It wouldn’t even be good for the game of basketball if they didn’t. The same with Golden State. I’m still doing what I’m doing here in Brooklyn, but if I continue on what I’m doing four or five years, then I’ll feel the same way about this program. I better have a home. Because I feel like I am basketball. I breathe it. This is my DNA. I put in the time and respect and love for each one of these programs on and off the floor to get that type of recognition. If I don’t do it, then it’s personal.”
Depending on how well his run in Brooklyn goes, perhaps the Nets will have to raise his No. 7 jersey as well? Third time is a charm, right?
Kevin Durant needs to have his Thunder and Warriors jerseys retired
The good news here is Durant is probably right. Oklahoma City would be beyond moronic not to considering retiring Durant’s jersey the second he calls it a career. What history do they have without him, if we are being totally honest here? He may not offer that loyalty component of one Nick Collison, but the NBA franchise Durant is best known for playing for has to be Oklahoma City.
As far as Golden State is concerned, he did play a huge part in the Warriors winning their two most recent titles. So for that reason, the Warriors will eventually raise his No. 35 jersey as well. However, it will not be immediately and it will not happen before the Warriors retire Stephen Curry’s No. 30. Klay Thompson’s No. 11 and Draymond Green’s No. 23. So Durant will have to wait.
Even if it has always been messy from the NBA’s greatest wanderer, Durant is fortunate that he has never played for a truly iconic franchise in the association. Imagine if he had fractured exits with the likes of organizations like the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers or even the Philadelphia 76ers. Ultimately, history will be kind to Durant’s legacy in his first two NBA stops.
As for if the Nets will eventually retire his No. 7, he needs to get this team to an NBA Finals first.