Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The NBA (Really) Wants Kevin Durant...(Sigh)

Well, this looks like the first in what may be a long line of Kevin Durant and the NBA stories to come. It seems Mr. Danny Ainge (Boston Celtics GM) could not wait even until the NCAA tournament started to start wooing Durant away from Texas. In a stroke of “fortuitous” seat placement, Ainge found himself next to Wanda Pratt, mother of the Longhorn super star.

The NBA has very specific rules regarding the contact of NBA teams and “amateur” college players. Fines are laid out to any organization that makes substantial contact with a college player, or even discusses that player and their NBA prospects. Seems pretty tough, but straightforward. Well, it seems Ol’ Danny figured that an impromptu sales pitch in front of 18,000 people at the Big 12 tournament and the million or so watching on TV was a pretty covert scheme.

Needless to say, David Stern was not impressed. The Celtics were dropped a $30,000 fine for Ainge’s visit with Mrs. Pratt. But this was actually the third time a team has been fined by the NBA for comments about Durant. It seems Kevin has already begun taking the money of NBA execs to the tune of $60,000. The Golden State Warriors have already paid $15,000 for the privilege of saying Kevin Durant’s name, and none other than Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats were levied a similar $15,000 fine. (To be fair MJ just pulled that from his pocket after taking $30K from Charles Barkley on a par 3, closest to the pin competition).

I guess this is what Longhorn fans are left to. I was trying to think of an analogy of what watching Kevin Durant being courted by the NBA is like, but I am coming up short. But it sucks. Yeah, everyone knew he would only be here for a season and we are all glad he was here. But after the abrupt end to the year, the time seems all to short. But, I guess we had KD for a season longer than anyone else in the nation. Right?

The best I can do is say this must be what its like to have your kid leave for college. You know, even when they are born, that you have a limited time until they leave you for greener pastures. But by the time they are 18 and walking out the door you think, “Wait. That was it? Where’d the time go?” And worse yet, you know they should leave. Even though, for your selfish reasons, you want them to stay, their opportunities lay elsewhere. So you just enjoy the time you had and watch from a distance while everyone else gets to see what you had to yourself; even for just a short time.

Still doesn’t make me feel much better…

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