Lost amid last Friday’s news that LeBron James was returning to Cleveland was the announcement that Randy Wittman and the Wizards hired David Adkins as a player development assistant to replace Ryan Saunders.
Adkins, 50, was an assistant women’s basketball coach on Brenda Frese’s staff at Maryland for the past five years. Perhaps more notably, Adkins coached Kevin Durant as an assistant at Montrose Christian in Rockville and often worked Durant and teammate Greivis Vasquez out before class during their senior years.
With the recent talk of a potential Durant-to-D.C. homecoming in 2016, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon weighed in on Adkins’s hiring during Wednesday’s episode of “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN.
“Washington Wizards hiring Kevin Durant’s high school coach,” Tony Reali said to open the segment. “Something or nothing?”
“This is potentially something,” Kornheiser said. “The Wizards hired a man named David Adkins as some sort of player development guy. I watched Larry Brown hire Ed Manning at Kansas. Who do you think came with him? Danny Manning came with him and they won a championship as a result of it. The Wizards are going to try and convince Kevin Durant, when he becomes a free agent, to go home in the way LeBron went home to Cleveland, to go home to D.C. So you’re planting the seeds right now. Potentially something.”
Wilbon offered an even hotter take.
“You’re so dead wrong,” he said. “This is not potentially something. This is KABOOM something. Can’t you recognize something when you see something in your own home town? This is huge. Notice the Wizards – you think they put in a call to Carmelo? … No, not as interested, because Carmelo’s from down the road, Carmelo’s for now. Kevin Durant is from the road. He is from D.C., not Baltimore. Kevin Durant is what they want in two years. They’re going to shape everything to get Kevin Durant. Who knows whether he’s coming, but they should do this.”
“Don’t hire David Adkins,” Kornheiser said. “Hire [Durant’s] mom. That would help.”
“Big something,” Wilbon said.