Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant has revealed that he would love to spend his entire career with the franchise and have his jersey retired in the future.
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Durant was speaking after undergoing bone graft surgery on his right foot on Tuesday, which will officially rule him out for the rest of the season.
The reigning league MVP has just one year remaining on his current contract with OKC, and despite speculation linking him with an exit over the past few months, it appears as though re-signing with the Thunder is Durant’s priority.
“I love it here, man. I love my teammates, I love the city, I don’t really think about anywhere else. I hear it all the time, don’t get me wrong, and once you hear it you’re kind of like [looks up, thinking]. But for me, I love staying in the moment, and I’m one of those guys that would love to stick it out with one team my whole career,” Durant said, ESPN reports.
“Kobe [Bryant], Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki type. That’s awesome. But you never know what the future holds sometimes and how teams may feel about you after a while, but I love it here and I would love to get my jersey retired here.”
Oklahoma City remain in a stronger position than their rivals in the sense that they will be able to offer the 26-year-old an extra year and more money as a result of holding his Bird rights.
Given that Durant has now spent eight years with the franchise after being drafted by them back in 2007, he may well consider OKC to be a home away from home as there had been suggestions that a return to Washington might be on the cards in 2016.
However, it seems as though the four-time scoring winner is happy where he is currently based, and his more immediate concern will be returning to full health in order to help both himself and the organisation end their long wait for a championship.
Durant has played in just 27 games this season but still averaged 25.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. While his absence is likely to limit the Thunder in the playoffs, point guard Russell Westbrook has relished the opportunity to lead the team in his absence.