Oklahoma City isn’t just a place where Thunder star Kevin Durant lives these days. It’s home.
So as he watched the horrifying images Monday as a tornado ripped through suburban Moore, the emotions came bubbling to the surface and so did the need to help. Durant pledged $1 million for tornado relief through his foundation Tuesday, eager to help a devastated area begin to rebuild.
“As the day went on and I saw the footage and the casualties and the houses being blown away, it was tough to see,” said Durant, who was in Minneapolis to watch longtime friend Monica Wright play a preseason game for the Minnesota Lynx.
“I call Oklahoma City my home. I go through Moore all the time. It’s unfortunate. We’re going to come together as a city like we always do and we’re going to bounce back.”
Durant has been in Oklahoma City for five years, ever since the Seattle SuperSonics moved there in 2008.
He has become a fixture in the community, in addition to establishing himself as one of the very best players in the NBA.
He said he was hoping to return home today to try and lift the spirits of an area reeling from the deaths of some two dozen people, including children.
CLIPPERS: Coach Vinny Del Negro said “yes” in a text message when asked if he and the team had parted ways on Tuesday.
In his typical deliberate fashion, Clippers owner Donald Sterling waited until almost three weeks after the season was over to inform Del Negro that the team wasn’t going to give him a contract extension.
After the Clippers lost in the Western Conference first-round playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies, Sterling was unhappy with his coaching staff.
BOBCATS: Owner Michael Jordan is changing his team’s name to the Charlotte Hornets.
Jordan said at a Tuesday news conference he has informed the league of his decision and is optimistic the NBA board of governors will approve the name change when they convene in July.
Charlotte will remain the Bobcats next season, but if all goes as planned Jordan anticipates his team will become the Hornets for the start of the 2014-15 season.
“We spoke to our season ticket holders and fans, and overwhelmingly you guys wanted Hornets name back,” Jordan said. “And we went out and brought the name back.”
The NBA’s Hornets resided in Charlotte from 1988-2002.
NO THANKS: Phil Jackson says the best job offer he has received recently was to coach the Brooklyn Nets.
But Jackson turned the Nets down and insisted that he is finished coaching during an interview Tuesday with The Dan Patrick Show.
Jackson said he had an agreement with Chris Hansen, the prospective owner of a Seattle-based franchise, to take any job in the organization that he wanted. Hansen lost his bid to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle.
Jackson also said he never had any contact with the Los Angeles Clippers or New York Knicks about potential jobs.