Is it OK to be happy for Kevin Durant for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder?
I am an Oklahoma City Thunder fan and like most Thunder fans feel a little sick today. After reading My Next Chapter I wanted to take my already abused and overused IPhone and chunk it into the ocean. Then I realized I live in Orange County. I too “left” Oklahoma City for California and while I am not an NBA superstar or worth even close to millions of dollars I needed change. :Living in the Oklahoma City bubble, while it will always be home, had begun to stunt my growth.
Kevin Durant stated “The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction. But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth.” While I choose LA when I left, not San Fransisco, the reasons where all the same. Durant had said all along this was a basketball decision. Many are questioning that today especially after his “My Next Chapter” statement but I do believe that was his intent.
My Journey West
My decision to move to California was an accident. After spending nearly 2 weeks working in Newport Beach a funny thing happened. My eyes started to open to the wealth of opportunity and like-minded people who were passionate about similar things. I was surrounded by success, big ideas, creative thinking, and endless possibilities. It did not hit me until I got back to Oklahoma City and immediately I began to feel my skin crawl with nervousness. I knew I had to leave. However at that time I told myself I just needed a road trip, for old times sake. 10 hours after being home, I kissed the love of my life and said I need to “go”. I threw suits and workout clothes in the back of my car and headed west.
Just a Few Stops and I Will Come Home
How many of you have said just a few more drinks and I will be home? Yeah, I guess that doesn’t happen when you journey west either. My first stop was Denver, Colorado to meet with a good friend and business associate to go see potential accounts for our aesthetic business. I honestly told myself I would head home after my visit however after watching my first spring blizzard, I decided to keep going west towards Las Vegas, “Just for a few days,” I told Karen. Nothing makes a person want to keep going west like a few days in Vegas, so that is what I did. I went to Los Angeles, more specifically West Hollywood, and never looked back.
WEHO aka Home
I am not sure if I have ever told Karen, the love of my life, this or not but I knew within 5 minutes that WEHO was home. I still cannot explain the lure of the city however if you have ever spent anytime in LA and more specifically the Sunset Strip then you know that the energy there is an addiction in itself. New York City is amazing but it is not LA. The weather, the constant sound of helicopters & ambulances, the houses in the Hills, the plastic bodies are all great but, the thing you cannot deny is the feeling of opportunity and challenges. For someone like me, that also means hope; something I lost in Oklahoma.
To say I lost hope in Oklahoma is not Oklahoma’s fault. It was a “Me” issue for sure. I am the guy who needs constant stimulation like any 3 year old trapped in a mans body. If I cannot find professional challenges or an outlet for my energy I become Tornado Josh causing devastation for myself and the people in my wake. Again, not Oklahoma’s fault; it is what it is. I am quite sure that Durant’s decision had nothing to do with the weather because he chose the Bay area but, I do relate to his decision to move. While it is easy to believe he is a multi-millionaire and he could be successful anywhere (that is true), to fault him for heading to a city like San Fransisco for the reasons he choose I think is small-minded and is the mindset that caused him to leave in the first place.
Small Town = Small Mindset
I am sure I will get crushed for saying this but, in my opinion, it is true. Oklahoman’s are proud people and they should be. Oklahoma is an amazing place to live and it will always be my home. However, it will always play little brother to Dallas, TX and, when it comes to opportunity and diversity, even they fall flat. I am amazed at the growth in Oklahoma City and I pray that it continues to grow, however, it will never be able to compete with the energy and need for continued growth and personal development that life in California requires to succeed. To be honest, California doesn’t need another star athlete or multi-millionaire, heck it doesn’t even need the LA Rams for people here to be happy. No Kevin Durant needed California to reach his true God-given potential and that would, unfortunately, never happen in Oklahoma. With that said Oklahoma does not need Durant or me to be great.
Oklahoma is not OK, its great!
Did you really think this article was to bash Oklahoma City? Durant also said “I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man.” Yes, this is so true. Oklahoma City raised me, too. I tried to leave permanently after the May 3rd, 1999 tornado destroyed my home and entire town; I left for Honolulu, Hawaii. I came back. Swore I would never leave, until I left a few minutes later for Boca Raton, Florida. Then, I came home again. You see I was not ready to leave and, truthfully, if I did not come back home to Oklahoma I would most likely be dead. Without my family, my church, friends, and the comfort and security Oklahoma brings I would have never been able to take flight, the right way, and head west. Oklahoma is full of wonderful people that are secure in its consistency and safety. If you are someone looking to raise a family and be comfortable then Oklahoma is the perfect place for you. For a 28 year old multi-millionaire or a free-spirited, serial entrepreneurial-minded, thrill-seeker Oklahoma is the perfect place to take flight from and spread your wings.