Kevin Durant, once renowned as the hometown hero of Oklahoma, was often praised for his ability to be Oklahoma’s best scorer. With his old teammates James Harden (HOU) and Russell Westbrook (OKC), they were a nearly unstoppable force, reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2012. They were eventually stopped by a bigger and better Miami Heat, who had LeBron James (CLE) and Dwyane Wade (CHI).
Since Durant chose to take his talents to the Bay Area, many of the fans in Oklahoma became enraged anti-supporters of their once hero. On the other hand, some fans see that the tension between the prodigy and the crowd of Oklahoma backfired on the city, as the hero became more efficient as the game went on.
Justin Chan, a Diamond Bar High School student and anti-Durant fan, was glad to see the game when the hero returned. Chan explained that every time he (Durant) would touch the ball, the crowd would yell “Cupcake!” or boo him. Chan described that the “feeling of animosity” towards the star was wonderful, destroying the confidence of Durant.
However, some fans think differently. Wenbo Ding, also a Diamond Bar resident, explained how the hatred “just fueled Durant’s mental state”, which allowed him (Durant) to concentrate more on the game than the media or the distractions that he was once familiar with. Ding also stated that it was one “of the best games” Durant has played this year.
Even with all of the media exposure on the shape of Durant’s legacy, he has proven to exceed the predictions and expectations. Showing how he can score the ball relentlessly against any team, he can also make tremendous defensive plays, which makes him a great two-dimensional all around player. Sports commentator Jeff Van Gundy states how “Durant did everything for the city of Oklahoma,” because he did reach the Finals with a younger, less mature team. This may be the start of a new beginning for the star as a Golden State small forward.