Originally written on Wizards Extreme  |  Last updated 1/7/13
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Rays rookie hits first HR, gets ignored by teammates

Email shows Ravens tipped off Colts about deflated footballs

Report: Mexico in talks with Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job

Brady: Never thought about air pressure until refs inflated to 16 PSI

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams

Jimmy Graham to block for Marshawn 75 percent of time

Kobe Bryant not sure if 2015-16 is his final NBA season

Report: Arian Foster could be headed to injured reserve

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

Poker pro Daniel Negreanu wants to partially own Vegas NHL team

Penn State modernizes with new shield logo

UT preview: Why the Volunteers can win the national title

WATCH: Jordan embarrassed by camper over his shoes

Rice: 'I can understand why some people will never forgive me'

Rod Marinelli: “Fortunate” to go through 0-16 season with Lions

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins gets big ovation in return to Philly

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

Dave Dombrowski is out as Tigers GM

Bubba Watson’s caddie: Bubba has a ‘fear of crowds’

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker