LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Kevin Durant won’t be a free agent for another two years, but there’s already major buzz about the NBA superstar potentially returning to play for his hometown Washington Wizards in 2016.
But the buzz is apparently too much for the 25-year-old Oklahoma City Thunder star.
On Wednesday, Durant told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that he has deleted Twitter off his cellphone because the non-stop questions about his future plans have become a distraction.
Kevin Durant tells me he’s deleting Twitter from his phone. Doesn’t want the distraction. Won’t leave Twitter itself.—
darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 30, 2014
iPhone go silent, like I ain't need the stress—
Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 29, 2014
Rovell opened the interview by asking Durant how often he thinks about returning home to play for the Wizards.
“I don’t think about it all unless somebody brings it up,” Durant said. “I focus on my teammates, the organization, these great fans in Oklahoma City, the state of Oklahoma, and just fighting for them every single day. Putting my body on the line for them every single night. That’s all I’m worried about. I can’t tell the future. I’m just trying to focus on today and keep getting better for today, and keep getting better for my organization, my teammates, the city, the fans, and everybody in Oklahoma.”
Rovell then steered the conversation toward the Wizards’ current roster, asking Durant how often he keeps tabs on the likes of John Wall, Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m from there. I grew up watching that team play. I always want all my hometown teams to do well, including the Wizards,” Durant said. “I definitely keep an eye on them, but I keep an eye on everybody in basketball because I’m just a fan of the game. But of course, being my hometown team, I want everybody in that city to do well — from the Redskins to the Nationals to the Capitals to the Wizards — so I’m making sure I’m rooting for those guys.”
When asked how he’s dealing with the constant chatter on social media, Durant dropped the bombshell about taking a hiatus from Twitter.
“I’m just going to delete my Twitter from my phone now. You know, because I don’t want them taking my focus … ”
“Is that a joke or no?” Rovell quickly asked.
“No, that’s real. That’s not a joke,” Durant said.
The Durant-to-the-Wizards chatter gained steam on Tuesday, in part because it’s slow in the sports world during the summer, but also because of Durant’s comments to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne after she asked if he would consider playing for his hometown team — like LeBron James is doing with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I’m going to do what’s best for me,” Durant told ESPN after a training camp session with USA Basketball. “It’s hard to talk about that right now when I’ve got two years left in Oklahoma City. I’m just going to focus on that. I’m not going to make a decision based on what anybody else does. I grew up watching the Bullets/Wizards. I grew up taking the train to that arena, all the time, to watch Georgetown, the Bullets, the Washington Mystics. That whole city is a part of me. It’s in my blood. I love going back home, seeing my family and playing there, but I love Oklahoma City too.”
Durant continued that he’s constantly being asked if he’ll sign with the Wizards in 2016.
“Look, we going to put it out on tape,” Durant said. “It’s been talked about. Everybody’s asked me about it every time I go on Instagram or Twitter. All my friends ask me about it. So I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m naïve to the fact that people think about that stuff. But I just tell everybody that I’m here in Oklahoma City, [and] I love it here. Who knows what will happen? I never close the door on anything. But I like where I’m at right now, so I can’t answer that question.”