The Oakland Athletics took out an ad promoting their franchise player at the same time the Golden State Warriors star is preparing to leave town
A full-page ad appeared on Friday in the San Francisco Chronicle. “KD commits to Oakland,” it reads in large white, bold font over an orange background.
Before fans in the Bay Area become excited, a look at the bottom of the page reveals that it’s not referring to Kevin Durant, All-Star forward for the Golden State Warriors.
Instead, the ad contains the web address of the Oakland Athletics, and the “KD” isn’t Durant but rather Khris Davis, the Athletics’ slugger who signed a two-year, $33.5 million contract extension to remain in Oakland on Thursday.
Davis, while not Durant, is a star in his own right. He leads the American League this season with 10 home runs, a year after hitting a league-leading 48. Over the last three seasons, he leads all of baseball in homers, 19 more than the next closest player.
While Davis is staying in Oakland, Durant is making no such commitment. He signed a two-year, $61.5 million contract with the Warriors last July. The second year, however, is a player option, and Durant can instead choose to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. The mercurial Durant has looked unhappy most of the season and feuding with teammates like Draymond Green.
In February, Ethan Strauss of The Athletic reported that the 30-year-old former MVP plans to leave the Warriors, with whom he’s won the last two Finals MVP awards, and sign with the New York Knicks.
“Insiders around the league think Kevin Durant is leaving the Warriors for the Knicks,” Strauss wrote. “Most people within the Warriors either think Durant is leaving or profess not to know one way or the other. His teammates recognize this reality, can handle it and merely want one outcome: Win a championship, absent too much drama.”
The Warriors, winners of three of the last four NBA titles, defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 132-105 in Game 3 of their opening round series on Thursday, with Durant scoring 38 points. The uncertainty regarding his future hasn’t affected his play on the court, but it’s certainly been reflected in his demeanor off of it.
Durant’s impending departure from Golden State comes as the Warriors franchise itself is planning to leave Oakland after this season, relocating to a new stadium across the bay in San Francisco. With one of their star players and their beloved team preparing to walk out on them, it’s no surprise that the Athletics want to show Oakland fans that at least one team, and it’s star player, are still loyal.