Hello BF. Long time reader, first time poster. To start, let me say that it's been nice to have a place to share in some collective Wizards anguish and, if they keep this up, joy (?). Did I just say joy? I did? That.. that feels good! I like this!
Anyway, I'll preface this post with a couple things. One, I apologize for going off topic in the midst of the hunt for +.500. I want it, you want it, it's probably going to happen. If you've gotten this far, you'll just have to bear with me. Second, this is an idea I bounced off some friends in response to the (completely fair) question, "Why in hell would Kevin Durant want to play for the Wizards?" I would like to hear the reaction of some real fans.
Now, I'm also assuming that the home squad will have the cap space to make a run at KD. If not, well, I guess we can just try to sign the next all-world superstar who loves the DC area to the point that he sells Mumbo Sauce and blue crab-inspired shoes. I'll wait.
Here are a few facts of which we can be sure: Kevin Durant loves his hometown, and Kevin Durant does not love his hometown's professional basketball team. Now, if I'm a rational human being, I also know this -- the Wizards name is embarrassing. I know fans put much more stock in this than athletes, but there is a certain stench to the name tied to all the losing that has happened here, in addition to the obviously hilarious fact that a team of 20-35 year old men are called "Wizards" because someone was a fan of alliteration.
In pursuit of high-profile free agents, many teams say that they have the ability to make an organizational shift and make a statement by signing a player. My proposition is no different except, for once, we could actually make a tangible statement. Time the name change to market it around a potential Durant signing. Hell, even give him some input on the name if he wants it. KD, no offense to Johnny Max, is already the face of basketball in DC and a legend in the area's rich basketball tradition. By putting Durant at the forefront of a name change/rebranding, even the slightest amount of success would put him in the all-time legends category. He would be THE guy who brought professional basketball back to DC with an assist, fittingly, by Wall (WALL, THE DIME). DC is a town with so much passion for the sport at lower levels but without a professional team to truly rally around. KD doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would engage in a discussion about his legacy at such a young age, but there's no way a pitch like that wouldn't pull at his heartstrings.
It's a long way away, but it would be HIGHLY irresponsibile of the franchise to not pursue KD when his contract expires, as I'm sure we're all aware. For a team like ours with a losing history, this is the only way I can see to get him over teams like the Lakers, who will surely be lurking. A couple playoff appearances from John and the boys wouldn't hurt, either. Speaking of John, I know we made him the face of the franchise already, but he has proved to be a leader that would understand that this greatly helps the bottom line, even if it wouldn't be "his" team anymore. He could play the Wade role in this scenario.