Kevin Durant Reaffirms Commitment to OKC Thunder After Signing with Jay-Z

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 05:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates a play against the Memphis Grizzlies during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 5, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Fans of the Oklahoma City Thunder can breathe easier; Kevin Durant is not going anywhere.

This was a serious concern after the superstar signed with Roc Nation Sports/CAA, the agency launched by hip hop mogul Jay-Z.

The Brooklyn-based rapper has signed a small contingent of athletes that includes New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith and New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz.  

As a result, there was speculation that Durant would use this opportunity to join the other clients in New York—or least a bigger market where he can showcase his talent.

However, the three-time NBA scoring champ made sure people knew he was staying with the franchise that drafted him. When referring to his relationship with Jay-Z, he told Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman:

He has nothing to do with if I'm going to leave OKC or none of that. I heard that before so put that out on the table. He has nothing to do with that. He knows his lane with me. Their team knows their lane with me. And they're letting me handle the basketball part. I would tell fans not to worry about that at all.

Durant goes on to please his home fans even more by saying, "I want to stay in Oklahoma as long as possible. I do. That's the honest truth. I love it here."

This partnership appears to be something that will help boost his career off the court despite staying in a smaller market.

According to Forbes, Durant is the No. 17 highest-paid athlete in the world, ranking fourth in the NBA when combining salary with total endorsements. However, the $14 million in reported earnings from endorsements is far behind his fellow basketball players like Kobe Bryant ($34 million), LeBron James ($42 million) and Derrick Rose ($21 million).

The 24-year-old player will hope that the new agency will help him catch and possibly pass these stars in the coming years. 

Either way, it appears clear that Durant is committed to remaining with the Thunder throughout the end of his contract and possibly beyond. 

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