When someone claims to be the biggest Washington Redskins fan, they’re usually speaking symbolically and emotionally.
When NBA sensation Kevin Durant says he’s the biggest fans of the Redskins, he might be speaking and be speaking literally and physically.
Listed at 6-9, Durant had a great view of pregame warmups on the Redskins sideline last weekend. People milled all around him, but he had the aerial advantage to take it all in.
As one of the most recognizable athletes in the country, 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 Garcon, 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 Instagram’d a photo of himself with the boisterous bunch:
He also met with a very special fan of his own, as Robert Griffin III made his way over to shake hands and say hello.
“He sounds like he’s ready to go, so I can’t wait for another season like that.”
Sunday was only Durant’s second Redskins game in person, having been to a home game at FedExField two seasons ago. But that doesn’t mean Durant doesn’t keep up with his favorite team, as even a recent business trip across the pond didn’t keep him from the regular season opener.
Last week, Durant was in Barcelona, Spain for various media and sponsorship obligations, but watching some European basketball and played a little while he was there.
Those obligations ended promptly at 1:10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, when his Redskins took the field, more than 4,000 miles away.
“Of course I watched last week,” he said. “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 will be celebrating his 25th birthday later this month, and was 3 years old the last time the Washington Redskins played in the Super Bowl. During most of his life, the Redskins have struggled to be consistent contenders, and lack the nationwide “cool factor” that some bandwagon teams possess.
Doesn’t matter, says 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 was pleased with the way the team has finished in each of the last two games, even in defeat, and said the Redskins just needs to ride that momentum to a victory.
As a fellow athlete, he knows a a thing or two 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.
“Philly came out and hit us in the mouth early. We did that in the second half, but it was a little too late,” Durant explained. “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, seasons like 2012 are extra sweet.
“Last year was really rewarding for me. Winning the division, beating the Cowboys twice, [Robert Griffin III] winning Rookie of the Year, playing so well with some of our guys out–I’m looking forward to this season.”
Could Durant Play For The Redskins?
Kevin Durant is one of the most decorated young basketball players in the world, dominant on both the NBA stage (NBA Rookie of the Year , 3× NBA scoring champion [2010–2012], 4× All-NBA First Team [2010–2013], 4× NBA All-Star [2010–2013], NBA All-Star Game MVP  and all-around good guy), as well as the international stage (FIBA World Championship MVP , Team USA tournament scoring leader  and single game , Olympic record for points scored , 2012 Olympic Gold Medal, etc., etc., etc.).
That does not, however, give him any such delusions that he could play professional football. At 6-9, 235 pounds, he recognizes that he has a big hitting zone without much padding to help.
“Naw, no, no,” he said with a laugh. “No. I’ll stick to shooting hoops, man.”
That’s not to say he never tried. Growing up, he and his brother played at the Boys and Girls club near his house.
“It was nothing too serious,” he said, characteristically downplaying his skills. “I was a tight end, offensive line because I was the tallest.”
“But I was giving up sacks a lot. I played linebacker and defensive end too.”
Why did no one think to use him as a receiver? Apparently, they tried.
“I played receiver for one down, and the quarterback was going to throw the ball to me and he got sacked. So that was my claim to fame.”
Good thing he found his athletic passion on the court. As for football, watching the Washington Redskins from wherever he may be is more than enough football for KD.