Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM
| January 4, 2008
It's homecoming weekend for the Seattle SuperSonics as they travel to Washington for Sunday's matchup with the Wizards (10:00 a.m., KTTH 770 AM)
. It will be a special weekend for the three Sonics who call the D.C. area home, including the first trip back as professionals for rookies Kevin Durant
and Jeff Green
"Yeah, I'm looking forward to it," Durant said before the team left Seattle to play Thursday in Phoenix. "I told all my friends, all my family I'm coming home. Coach planned a good trip, because we stay there for three days. Especially a weekend in D.C. is going to be cool."
"All his family, all his teammates - it's going to be a big night for Jeff. I know he's going to do well."
Durant, Green and guard Delonte West
are all D.C. natives and all three grew up in the area before going off to college, in the cases of Durant and West. Green stayed home to play his college basketball at Georgetown.
For Durant, the experience of playing against the Wizards at the Verizon Center will be a unique one after watching the team while growing up.
"I always used to go watch games all the time, back when they were the Bullets," said Durant. "I'd go to Mystics games, so to play in that arena is going to be pretty cool, especially as a young guy like me. Last year I was going to watch them play a lot, so it's going to be cool."
The experience of playing at the Verizon Center is nothing new for Green. He called the arena home while playing for the Hoyas the last three seasons, but now is coming back as a professional.
"He said it's going to be weird," shared Durant. "He played his college games in there, so to be a pro in there is going to be even better for him. I'm happy for him. All his family, all his teammates - it's going to be a big night for Jeff. I know he's going to do well."
While Durant's mother and two of his cousins have followed him out to Seattle, the majority of his family - like Green's - remains back East, so this trip is a chance to catch up. That also means Durant and Green will be looking for plenty of tickets for Sunday's game. Durant wasn't sure how many, having removed himself from the process to focus on basketball.
"I left that up to my mother," he said. "She's talking to people at the Verizon Center now. They're handling that."
The schedule-maker did Durant and Green a favor in planning this road trip. After playing yesterday in Phoenix, the Sonics have consecutive days off - a rarity on the road - to spend in Washington before taking on the Wizards Sunday morning. That might also give the natives a chance to share their knowledge of the city with their teammates.
"I'll show them around, show them how it is in D.C.," said Durant. "Some guys haven't been out in D.C. before."
Coincidental timing has the Sonics in Washington as the Redskins come West to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Playoffs Saturday. While supportive of the Seahawks, Durant makes no secret of the fact that he's going to be rooting for his hometown Redskins.
"I'm from D.C. - I'm going to rep it to the fullest," said Durant. "If I was (in Seattle), I'd be all in the red and yellow."