Ted's Blog: When Athletes Leave

February 15, 2017

This past weekend, one of the biggest games featured the Golden State Warriors traveling to Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder. This game had a few different story lines. For instance, the Thunder were knocked out of the playoffs last year by Golden State. The biggest story line, though was the fact that Kevin Durant was returning to Oklahoma City for the first time since he left the team in the off-season. The crowd was really fired up and they let their feelings be known as they booed him every time he touched the ball. They also made a huge point of calling him cupcake. Now, I get that 'cupcake' was a team slang for being soft and people thought it was soft the way he left. I would also like to say that it is your right if you bought a ticket to cheer or boo whoever you want at the game you attend. I do think some of that is just part of sports, but the Oklahoma City crowd seemed very personal with their hate towards Durant. I myself have booed people before who left the club or team that I like, but this one just struck me as wrong. The passion they have for him runs deep because when this team was stolen from Seattle, KD was already on the team and was rookie of the year. KD put Oklahoma City on the map and he did a lot of good things for that team and the community there. I totally get why people loved him and why they were upset about him leaving, but as I get older I start to think about it a bit differently too. I think about all my friends over the years who took other jobs and left where they live. I have a hard time imagining anyone in the crowd would turn down an offer for a better job or opportunity themselves. Sometimes I worry that we seem to hold athletes to a higher standard than ourselves. It's like in college when a kid can't transfer without sitting out a year, but coaches can go as they please. I have had a bunch of friends that have moved from one city to another for a job and I was happy for them. Hell, look at me! I never thought I would leave the DMV, but am so happy I took a job in Seattle. Like I said before, I get booing him and making it a tough place to live, but some of the hate I saw last Saturday just seemed like misplaced anger to me.