The Washington Wizards said goodbye to Trevor Ariza, their best defensive player, Saturday afternoon. Later that evening, they acquired Paul Pierce, a NBA Finals MVP, to fill the void. Meanwhile, out in Las Vegas, Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr. have combined to average 41 points per game through the first two games of Summer League action. Everything is going quite well right now. But why focus on the present when the future provides the slightest glimmer of a utopian society where Metro escalators work, summer temperatures aren't in the nineties and the Wizards are led by their hometown hero as he enters his prime?
Enter Stephen A. Smith, who had this to say to Brian Mitchell on ESPN 980 on Monday, when he was asked about who the Thunder would have to compete with when Kevin Durant enters free agency in 2016 (as transcribed by Dan Steinberg):
"I don’t think anybody, to be quite honest with you. Obviously the New York Knicks would be in the mix and what have you. But there are folks that I've spoken to that are relatively close to Kevin Durant that tell me if he were to decide to leave Oklahoma City, it would be for the nation's capital. That's the kind of dude he is. That's a place that he would consider.
"I certainly don't want to sit here as a reporter and insider and try to give indications that he's planning on leaving Oklahoma City. I don't know that to be sure. I don't know that to be the case. But I was told that if there is a team that would be strongly considered, it is the Washington Wizards, and him returning home."
If you're paying close attention, you'll notice that I chose to bold everything that indicated Kevin Durant would be staying in Oklahoma City, since that's what Stephen A. Smith is really saying here. He's saying that Kevin Durant is probably staying in Oklahoma City, but if there's a chance he leaves, D.C. would right at the top of the list of places he would consider. That's it. That's all he's saying.
To repeat: This probably isn't going to happen. But since there's a slight chance of this happening, we're telling you about it. And we're going to keep telling you about these things when they happen. You know why? Because deep down, part of you wants to hear it. Even though everything else inside of you tells you that there's no chance this is going to happen and you'll end up disappointed on July 1, 2016 when Kevin Durant tweets that he's signed an extension with the Thunder, there's still that one little piece inside of you that wants to believe that your wildest dreams could come true. So, as long as that dream still lives, we'll continue beat it to death with endless rumors and coverage of said rumors.