Former Seattle SuperSonic forward Kevin Durant appeared on Bill Simmons’s "Any Given Wednesday" show on HBO this week. Simmons, a large proponent of returning NBA basketball to Seattle, broached that very topic with Durant. Here is the video, and transcript below.
BS: Why doesn’t Seattle have an NBA team?
KD: That’s a good question. I don’t think you should be asking me that, you should be asking Mr. Silver that.
BS: You love Seattle.
KD: I love Seattle, yeah. They should have a team.
BS: If you win the title, I don’t think you should ever lose your team. That would be one of the rules I would make if I was the Czar of Sports. If you win a title, that’s it. You’re there forever.
KD: Like I said, they don’t care about basketball really.
BS: Who’s "they?"
KD: Whoever’s making those decisions.
BS: You saw it first hand your rookie season, the fans were fantastic.
KD: Yeah. It’s about revenue, when it comes to that.
BS: I’m hoping for an expansion team.
KD: I'm sure it will be.
BS: It could happen. You guys have enough players in the league to support an expansion team. You’ve got a lot of talent.
First off, let me say thanks, KD. We love you too. And Bill, we all are hoping for an expansion team. With the CBA negotiations ongoing - and a resolution hopeful for the end of the year - and Chris Hansen’s sudden re-emergence in SODO, you have to wonder how close to reality that idea may be. Here’s hoping. Let’s make it happen.
UPDATE 3:25 pm
Kevin Durant is in Seattle this weekend, unveiling a renovated basketball court at Powell Barnett Park. Kevin Durant’s Charity Foundation (KDCF) and Sparking Ice water teamed up to create the "Build it and They Will Ball" Courts Renovation Initiative to upgrade courts across the nation. Other locations benefiting from the program include Oklahoma City, Austin, TX, New York, Washington, D.C., the Bay Area, Guangzhou, China, and Berlin, Germany.
"I am proud of the work we accomplished for the Build it and They Will Ball program this past year," said Durant. "I have always been thankful for the role basketball played in my life as I was growing up and I understand that access to high quality courts is important for the next generation to learn, play and have fun on. I have seen the success of these courts first hand. And now with the help of Sparkling Ice, I am thrilled to bring the same opportunities to the Seattle community that is so near to my heart."
VIDEO: Kevin Durant hits ceremonial first shot at new #Seattle court, mobbed by adoring kids: @KDTrey5 @SparklingICE pic.twitter.com/ZIBGGm1BKT— Chris Daniels (@ChrisDaniels5) September 23, 2016
UPDATE 6:10 pm
In an interview with KING 5's Chris Daniels, Durant said that he "didn't have a say on if I was leaving or not" and still feels like he is part of the community. When asked about the NBA bringing back a team to Seattle, Durant said "hopefully that's soon. Hopefully they figure something out and get a team here because these fans really deserve it and this city really deserves it."
Updated 9/25 12:10 pm
Durant also spoke with the Seattle Times' Matt Calkins. He mentioned the 2013-14 season when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl and the Thunder were in the NBA Finals. Even with his current team a few wins away from a title, he was still thinking of Seattle. "I was imagining how the city would have felt with both teams here," Durant said. "It would have been electric. It would have been something we’ve never seen before — something no city has seen before. But we can dream, man."
He also reiterated his hope that Seattle gets a new team soon. "I really wish they get a team here. We miss getting back here. We know how it is, so hopefully the team comes back soon."
Calkins also couldn't help but ask about Durant leaving OKC for the Warriors and how elated folks in the Puget Sound area were with that decision. Against his publicist's wishes, Durant replied, "yeah, they were excited."