Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant didn’t receive a warm welcome when he made his return to Oklahoma City in February, but Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) doesn’t hold any ill will toward the eight-time All-Star.
In an interview with TMZ Sports, Inhofe said Durant “would be welcome back in Oklahoma any time he’s willing to come.” Inhofe also praised Durant’s charitable efforts when he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Thunder fans may not be willing to receive Durant as warmly as Inhofe—at least until the emotions from his departure last summer aren’t quite as raw.
The Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd loudly booed Durant as he was introduced before Golden State’s 130-114 win on Feb. 11, per SB Nation’s Tim Cato:
ESPN.com’s Royce Young shared a photo of one Thunder fan who dressed up like a cupcake—a reference to Russell Westbrook‘s Instagram photo from July 4, 2016, that turned out to be a thinly veiled shot at Durant:
Durant, however, got the last laugh, wearing a custom-made hat that features a cupcake with a championship ring on top following the Warriors’ NBA Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, per Julie Phayer, the Warriors’ social media coordinator:
Time heals all wounds, and there will likely be a day when Thunder fans move past their anger toward Durant.
If LeBron James can return to the Cleveland Cavaliers as a beloved fan favorite again after “The Decision,” then a similarly redemptive moment—albeit unlikely in a playing capacity—isn’t out of the question for Durant.
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