When you’ve written about the Redskins name controversy as many times as I have, you start to think you’ve heard every possible permutation, suggestion, joke, defense, or proposal.
Well, I was wrong. Kevin Durant has a new one.
Asked on Bill Simmons’s “The Ringer” podcast this week about the Redskins’ name, Durant didn’t come out with a stance one way or the other.
“That tradition has been there for so long, but I know that name is so offensive to so many people, too,” he said. “And you definitely want to take that into consideration.”
Standard non-answer. But the reader-submitted question asked what Durant would name the team if it had to be changed, and his response was nonstandard.
“I would call it like the Body Snatchers or something like that,” Durant said. “That was a sick go-go song when I was growing up, the ‘Body Snatchers.’ ”
Naming the local NFL team after a Rare Essence song? That is a very Durant response, and one I believe has never been made in the history of the universe.
Simmons then asked Durant if the Wizards should go back to being the Bullets; “I liked the Bullets,” Durant said. “I guess it was a negative connotation though. I loved the Bullets, and the colors were fire.”
Other notable moments from the Durant podcast:
On whether he’s the social media MVP of this NBA offseason: “I should be. I keep it real, man. I keep it real. I mean, I used to think ‘Man, let me watch what I say about this or that;’ [but] at the end of the day it’s all jokes to everybody anyway. They make jokes about whatever goes on in this basketball world anyway, so why can’t I just chime in and tell y’all how I feel?”
About whether his honesty is similar to Charles Barkley’s: “Don’t say Barkley, because he’s 95 percent wrong. I’m at least 87, 86 percent right. He’s always wrong.”
On which four players from Prince George’s County he would want to run with, at the height of their games: His roster was Delonte West, DerMarr Johnson, Kevin Durant, Mike Sweetney and Mike Beasley. Admittedly, this is not an easy thing to do off the top of your head, but Len Bias, Jeff Green and Danny Ferry would all like a word.
On his reaction to the Kyrie Irving trade: “I figured it was real once I heard it. Once Woj [Adrian Wojnarowski] tweets anything, it’s real.”
On why Irving might have wanted out of Cleveland: “When you’re around LeBron James, there’s so much that comes with that, so much outside distractions and conversations and just noise that just comes from being around LeBron James. And Kyrie’s at the point like, ‘All right, we lost the championship, this whole season’s gonna be about if LeBron’s gonna leave or not, I’m ready for a new challenge.’ … It just felt like he just wanted a situation where he could just be free from all of that and just play. And it’s a perfect system for him in Boston. It’s like a perfect fit, you know what I’m saying? He’s a 6-3 Isaiah Thomas basically, and Isaiah just thrived in that system.”
On whether he can identify with how Irving might have felt: “Oh yeah, for sure. When you just love to play the game, the NBA kind of adds so much baggage on top of it from the business side to the media. Everything. When you just want to play and not worry about that stuff, you try to find a place where you can do that. … He did what he was supposed to do in Cleveland. It’s on to the next chapter. I can really appreciate what he did. He stood up for himself. He showed a lot of courage, man, because it’s hard to take that type of criticism, you know what I’m saying, when you just want to play ball. So I feel him on that.”
On the lack of loyalty in pro sports: “I thought we all knew that. Like, for real. I thought we knew that. It’s been happening for years. Guys been getting traded in their sleep for years. Guys have been getting the [bad] end of the stick for years. I mean, some guys have been [working] over organizations too. There’s no loyalty. It’s business, there’s money involved. It’s loyalty to people, those relationships that you have, sure, with trainers and teammates and anybody in the organization, that’s loyalty, you know what I mean, that’s friendship that’s relationship that’s something that’s going to last forever. But when it comes to numbers on the paper, name on the paper. At the end of the day, that trumps everything. Does this dude fit into our salary cap or into our plans? Nah, let’s see what we can get for him. That’s just part of the game.”
On once saying he would drink Scarlett Johansson’s bathwater “I hope she was aware of it. And it’s strange now, because it made me look crazy. But I would. I actually love Scarlett Johansson, and I would do that.”
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