Sure – it seems like a bit of a weird headline, but when you put it in perspective, it does make a little bit of sense.
The Oklahoma City Thunder always knew that the summer of 2016 was coming. If you look at the roster that has been built, the moves that have been made and the financial flexibility the Thunder have secured – OKC knew all along that it would have to work hard to keep Kevin Durant.
Winning certainly helps that – and the Thunder have done plenty of that over the past few seasons. Winning an MVP helps – especially when you realize just how much each and every person involved with the Thunder means to Durant and his success.
Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise have put themselves in the best position possible to retain the services of their franchise star. Should they be concerned with the rap mogul and sports agent Jay Z?
Since signing with the “Jigga man” plenty has happened off the court that has changed the course of Durant’s career. It mightn’t seem overly important but, Jay Z is fast earning a reputation – and it’s not always good. There are the “surprisingly restrictive” contract and endorsement deals (like the Sparkling Ice deal) and of course, there is the Under Armour / Nike battle that is currently being waged.
A number of people are questioning the decision and some are even wondering what the relationship between Durant and Jay Z means for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On face value – it seems like Jay is going to want to move KD to a big market team. After all – everything Jay Z does is big and there is no question that the potential earnings from endorsement deals is better in a larger market. However, Durant is marketable already and not just for his basketball skills. He has charisma and personality that is genuine and honest – not some clever marketing or PR ploy – and he loves OKC. Even without an NBA title and playing in a relatively new and small market, people can’t get enough of the MVP.
Another argument, is that the more Jay Z can assist Durant in making money OFF the floor, the more inclined he might be to stay for a little less than market value in order to continue to build a winning team and title contender. This “coming home” nonsense is just a new fad, and KD is not LeBron – so you don’t need to worry based solely on those examples.
But – what can the Thunder do if Jay Z is determined to get Durant to the big cities and bright lights? Trust in their star. If Durant leaves, then he leaves. Obviously the Thunder don’t want this but it might be unavoidable no matter what they do. Kevin Durant is very much his own man though, and even Jay Z might find it difficult trying to “make” KD do anything.