Let that thought sink in a bit.
Kevin Durant grew up dreaming of becoming a Toronto Raptor.
Not a Laker, with their championship duo of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal. Not a Bull, following in Michael Jordan's footsteps. Not a Knick, playing in the mecca of Madison Square Garden. Not even a Spur, although no kid wanted to play in that precise style unless they had a hobby for certified public accounting at a young age.
Would Durant have worn the green and gold of the Sonics growing up, thinking of joining Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp?
Oh, wait he actually did that for a year before the team moved to Oklahoma City. The hometown Bullets/Wizards were not even among Durant's favorites.
Durant explained on the Dan Patrick Show last Thursday why the Toronto Raptors and all their cartoonish purple and red goodness caught his eye:
They were a new team when I was growing up, so I wanted to be a part of that.
[Vince Carter's] enthusiasm he showed, just his athleticism, and how he brought Toronto from being one of the newer teams in the league to almost going to the finals. He changed the culture there in Toronto.
That makes a little more sense. After all what kid did not dream of doing this:
You could be wearing the Grizzlies' neon green and still attract people to your team that way.
Lots of people were Raptors fans in those days because of Carter's incredible aerial acrobatics and feats. The Raptors were a must-have ticket. And so Durant pretending to be Carter sounds about right. He grew up into a much better player though.
When Patrick followed up and asked Durant if he would consider Toronto now... Durant hedged his bets and said he loves Oklahoma City.
No one could blame him for that. Maybe if Toronto brings back the dinosaur jerseys, Durant would reconsider.