Kevin Durant is one of the most decorated young basketball players in the world. The 2013 NBA Most Valuable Player is also one of the biggest Washington Redskins fans around. In September 2013, Durant caught up with Redskins.com's Brian Tinsman about his favorite team.
When someone claims to be the biggest Washington Redskins fan, they're usually speaking symbolically and emotionally.
When NBA MVP Kevin Durant says he's the biggest fans of the Redskins, he might be speaking literally and physically.
Listed at 6-foot-9, Durant had a great view of pregame warmups on the Redskins sideline last season, when he attended Washington's game against the Packers in Green Bay. People milled all around him, but he had the aerial advantage to take it all in.
As one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet, the Washington, D.C./ Rockville, Md., native also had the perfect spot to meet some of his favorite football players – never mind that it was in a stadium dripping with history like Lambeau Field.
"My dad, he converted me into a Redskins fan, and to have him here with me, we couldn't even dream about this," Kevin said, beaming over at his dad, Wayne Pratt. "It's your favorite team, your favorite players. I'm like a kid right now. … Seeing RGIII, Pierre Garçon, Santana Moss, London Fletcher – all those guys out there. Just being that close, it was a dream come true."
Durant also drew a crowd of fellow Redskins fans in the stands, who recognized the NBA star in common threads. Durant was sure to Instagram a photo of himself with the boisterous bunch.
He also met with a very special fan of his own, as quarterback Robert Griffin III made his way over to shake hands and say hello.
That game against the Packers last season was only Durant's second in person, having been to a game at FedExField three seasons ago. He's since been spotted at a couple Redskins home games in 2014, as well.
Even away from Landover, Md., Durant is sure to keep up with his favorite team. For example, even though a business trip kept him from attending the 2013 season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, Durant – who was in Barcelona at the time – watched at 1:10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning as the Redskins took the field more than 4,000 miles away.
"Of course I watched last week," he said at the time. "I was actually over in Barcelona and stayed up until 3 in the morning watching. I was so upset, I was just mad at everybody. My brother is a 49ers fan and a couple of my boys were talking trash to me, so I was upset. … We got it going in the second half and had a chance, but we just didn't come through."
Durant, 26, was 3 years old the last time the Redskins played in the Super Bowl. During most of his life, the Redskins haven't been able to consistently be playoff contenders, and might lack some of the nationwide "cool factor" that some bandwagon teams possess.
That doesn't matter, said Durant, who is a Redskins fan for life.
"Win or lose, I'm still going to be the biggest fan," he said. "I ride with my boys all the way to the end, no matter what happens."
Durant said for the Redskins, it's all about getting hot at the right time.
"It's big, y'know? Especially in a football game. I'm an athlete and I understand the process and how tough it is to turn during a game. But games are full of runs," Durant said. "I understand that, but I'm going to always stick with them and continue to support them no matter what, man. … We could be 0-16 and I'm still going to be screaming 'Skins!' all week, until the death of me."
So how does that type of DMV pride sit in Oklahoma City, which is solidly Cowboys territory? Not well, especially in the locker room.
"Yeah! I still talk trash to all the Cowboys fans," he said with a grin. "[Thunder teammate] Russell Westbrook is the biggest Cowboys fan, so I talk trash with those guys no matter what our record is."
For the long-suffering, high-profile Redskins fan, Durant said seasons like 2012 were extra sweet.
"(The 2012 season) was really rewarding for me," he said. "Winning the division, beating the Cowboys twice, [Robert Griffin III] winning Rookie of the Year, playing so well with some of our guys out."
Durant said growing up, his athleticism never really led him much to the football field. At 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, the 2013 NBA MVP said he has a big hitting zone – without much padding to help – and never really considered playing for the burgundy and gold.
"Naw, no, no," he said with a laugh. "No. I'll stick to shooting hoops, man."