Originally written on Wizards Extreme  |  Last updated 10/24/14
Lakers
It’s no secret that the Verizon Center is considered the “home away from home” for almost every team in the league. With its team sitting at 4-27 and in arguably the most transient city in the United States, the Phone Booth serves as a haven for as many opposing fans as those who root for the home team (and sometimes more for the former). Now usually this is something that bothers me. But I understand it. I never get too frustrated as it is simply part of the sporting culture and it’s just part of what this town offers to out-of-town residents and visitors. But tonight at Verizon Center, it’s not going to bother me at all. In fact, I’d almost welcome it. The Washington Wizards take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in a matchup of the NBA’s worst versus the NBA’s best. But more importantly: the return of D.C. native Kevin Durant.   When the star of an opposing team (i.e. Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, etc) is introduced in the starting lineup, he’s usually met with a mixture of cheers and jeers. But tonight, even as a die-hard Wizards fan who still has hope, you’d have to be crazy to boo Kevin Durant after what he’s done for this city without even being on any Washington franchise team. Born in D.C. and playing AAU ball in one of the nation’s hotbeds for basketball talent, Prince George’s County and then playing at another hotbed at Montrose Christian Academy in Rockville, Maryland, Kevin Durant defines D.C. He’s one of the few superstars (in sports or entertainment) from the DMV who can actually say that he’s made it. He is a household name, but he still understands his roots. Over the summer, as Team USA Basketball came to D.C. for practices and a scrimmage versus Brazil, Durant visited his old playground basketball court in the Barry Farm neighborhood in D.C. For those not native to D.C., it’s hard to see why this was such an impact to this area and especially to that neighborhood. The Anacostia/Southeast part of D.C. which Barry Farm is located in is typically considered the roughest part of D.C; but Durant, even with his superstar status, wanted to visit his childhood area and see the guys of the neighborhood on the blacktop. Many people consider Washington franchise players such as Alex Ovechkin, RGIII, and John Wall (arguably) to be “DC Heroes”. But for some reason, Durant, at least in my mind, means more to this area than any of those players. He is someone who has tasted success in other towns but still supports the town and supporting area that many of us have lived all our lives. Whether it’s his tweeting of encouragement for RGIII and the Redskins, his words of encouragement for the latest Wale project, or the simple statement of how happy he is to be back “home” whenever he lands in the D.C. area, Durant is the poster child of the DMV. So I ask all the fans in attendance, no matter how hard it may be to cheer for a player in a uniform other than the Washington Wizards red, white and blue jersey, to give Kevin Durant the warmest welcome back applause tonight during the starting lineups. After all, he’s done more than enough for this area to deserve it.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

2014 World Series: Game Three live blog

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

8 NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.