|Only 18, Durant now the face of the Sonics|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 29 June 2007 14:30|
At least the fatigue didn't hit him until after SuperSonics fans got to meet the new face of their franchise.
``Long week,'' Durant said.
Alongside Durant on Friday was a former Washington, D.C., companion of his, Georgetown forward Jeff Green, acquired when the Sonics traded seven-time All-Star Ray Allen to Boston.
``It's going to be tough, but it's going to be easier than I thought, because someone from Washington D.C. is going to be along with me,'' Durant said of his transition to the pro game. ``I just can't wait to get started.''
The selection of Durant was long expected by Sonics' fans and team officials. Durant was greeted in Seattle by ads in both newspapers and television commercials proclaiming Durant's arrival as the start of the ``New Era'' of Sonics' basketball.
Radio spots were being played on local airwaves in which Durant hit a fictitious buzzer beater. It's a little much for the soft-spoken Texas star who grew up in the nation's capital, but Durant accepts it's part of the job.
``There is nothing I can do about it. It's fun, but at the same time it's kind of overwhelming knowing where I came from and now people want to buy my NBA jersey it's fun,'' Durant said. ``I'm loving this aspect of it, but I can't wait to get on the floor.''
The surprise for Durant was that a former summer-league teammate would be joining him in Seattle. The chance for Seattle to acquire Green, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West from Boston for Allen and the 35th pick - LSU's Glen Davis - was too much for new Seattle general manager Sam Presti to pass up.
In pulling off the trade, Presti bid adieu to the Sonics' leading scorer since Allen's arrival in the middle of the 2002-03 season, the veteran voice in the locker room, and the public face of the franchise.
In terms of public persona, that role would seem to fall now to Durant.
``We've got to let each guy who comes into the program be themselves,'' Presti said. ``I think team philosophy and core values that we are going to preach and are going to live by are going to dictate the culture of the organization and the culture of the team.''