Sunday, July 1, 2007

Welcome to Seattle

No. 2 pick Kevin Durant and No. 5 pick Jeff Green got their introduction to Seattle Friday and Saturday, flying West from New York the day after being selected in the NBA Draft. On Friday, Durant and Green were introduced to the Seattle media. On Saturday, Durant's arrival was celebrated at an event at Green Lake Community Center for Sonics fans and featuring several other notable names in the Seattle sports community (Shaun Alexander, Lorenzo Romar, J.J. Putz, Tia Jackson and Sonics legends Spencer Haywood and Slick Watts).

Some odds and ends from the two days:

- Durant was asked a couple of times about buying a house in the Seattle area, answering that he plans to wait until the end of summer league and his time with the U.S. National Team before looking around. On Saturday, he asked for suggestions.

Owning a home will be a big deal.

"I think that's also a big step within my family, because we never bought a house before, we never had a house," said Durant. "I think that's something that we always wanted to accomplish growing up. Now that we can do it, it's going to be a joyous day for me, my mom, my whole family."

- Durant was asked on Friday about what nickname he prefers.

"They can call me whatever they want to call me," he said, referring to Sonics fans. "I'm just happy to be here. They can call me K-Dawg, K-Smoove, it doesn't matter."

Personally, I'm partial to "The Durantula."

- After asking Durant about when he became aware of Green, I found out that Green won a Maryland State Championship at Northwestern High School as a senior. I asked Green about being known as a winner.

"I'm a guy who loves to win," he said. "That's one thing I like to do. It's really remarkable for me to look back at the season I had in high school, how that team wasn't doing good and then we won the state championship. Going to Georgetown, where the program wasn't succeeding and putting them back on the map by going to the Final Four after three years."

- One of Friday's highlights was Durant's much-discussed look. He wore white Air Force Ones with a suit that, well, we struggled to decide on a color. Periwinkle was suggested and a lot of people went with baby blue.

I personally thought pastel blue, but Durant explained the color has personal significance. It was the color worn by his AAU team, the P.G. (as in Prince George's County, where both Durant and Green grew up) Jaguars.