Kevin Durant got so bored and restless on Monday that he took his talents to a flag football field in Stillwater, Okla. He should’ve been in Los Angeles, preparing to take on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at Staples Center, but he was running around – in a T-shirt with No. 35 and “KD” on the back, and “Sigma Nu” on the front – throwing beautiful spirals and towering over kids to intercept passes.
It was equally entertaining and dispiriting.
Durant has endeared himself all offseason with his exploits in pickup games and charity exhibitions, but even he had to admit that those have started to become “played out.” The NBA season was supposed to begin on Tuesday, but the first month of the season has been eliminated, erased as owners and players continue to debate incessantly over such fan-friendly terms as basketball-related income, luxury taxes, competitive balance and blah, blah, blah …
I should’ve been talking to John Wall today, getting his thoughts on the eve of his anticipated sophomore campaign and quizzing him on how soon he expects to join the discussion of the NBA’s elite point guards. I should’ve been asking Flip Saunders how he planned to utilize rookies Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton in their debuts against the New Jersey Nets. And I should’ve been asking the Wizards about the direction they believe the franchise is headed under owner Ted Leonsis.
I would’ve filed a story, a blog post or three and gone over some player capsules and graphics for the print edition of the paper. Afterward, I would’ve rushed home to turn on TNT to watch Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks receive their championship rings – or whatever Mark Cuban planned on giving the team that upset the Miami Heat last June. I would’ve seen how the 38-year-old Jason Kidd could’ve tried to keep up with youngest-ever reigning league’s most valuable player Derrick Rose.
I would’ve occasionally flipped over to NBA League Pass to see Enes Kanter, the rare player who really wanted to be a Wizard, make his debut for the Utah Jazz against the Houston Rockets. And finally, I would’ve put off sleep to catch Durant taking his first step from being the lockout/offseason MVP to making a serious run for his first regular-season MVP award.
Instead, I’ll have to follow the Twitter accounts of Wall and Wizards his teammates for updates. TNT is airing re-runs of “Bones” and “Southland” denying us of the entertaining ramblings of Charles Barkley, the sure-to-be entertaining ramblings of the newly hired Shaquille O’Neal, the sharp analysis of Kenny Smith and the professionalism of Ernie Johnson. Maybe NBATV is showing “Teen Wolf” or “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh” for the bazillionth time.
I could always start reading that new Jerry West autobiography that just arrived. I might have to head over to watch Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals just see what Verizon Center still looks like.
We are in the 124th day of the NBA lockout that has produced a few memorable moments. Was it Roger Mason’s accidental “Looking like a season. How u” tweet? David Stern’s “enormous consequences?” Dwyane Wade’s “I’m not your child?” JaVale McGee’s “ready to fold?” Cavalier owners’ Dan Gilbert’s “Trust my gut?” Or Billy Hunter’s “snookering?”
Nike just released a commercial that said, “Basketball Never Stops.” But the NBA has come to a screeching halt, isn’t coming back in November, and might not be back by Christmas. We have to settle for watching Durant playing flag football with a fraternity at Oklahoma State, try to keep track of which NBA player is hosting a charity basketball game and where, let Heat owner Mickey Arison contribute $500,000 to the financially-strapped NBA offices for his Twitter comments about the lockout, and read players’ union president Derek Fisher’s letter to remind players that he is fighting for them, denying reports to the contrary.
Yeah, Kevin Durant. I’m bored, too. I guess I can watch Nick Young and McGee rapping at a Benihana?