Kevin Durant sure had himself a nice night in his Redskins-colored Nikes: 44 points, an M.V.P. award, and a win for D.C. over L.A.. Goodman League over Drew League, at Capital Punishment. For such a hyped event, the ending was fitting — the hometown team winning by one point, 135-134, in a game that had exciting plays, expected misses, uncontrolled flow far outweighed by entertainment (thanks in part to Goodman commissioner Miles Rawls being master of ceremonies), and the comfort of it all coming down to free-throws (especially those previously missed in abundance), and a controversial blocking/charge call that went in Durant’s favor over James Harden. How ‘NBA’ of the game indeed.
There were some hiccups around the event in total — trouble with the online streaming of the game, I’m told; crowds battled heat and unorganized entrance procedure (many with tickets seemingly were turned away due to oversold capacity, a refund for which organizers are claiming they will give). With such a small gym for an exhibition with nationwide fanfare, I was surprised some of the results and complaints weren’t worse. Otherwise, at all points the players and attendees were well within safe confines (and the fire code it seems).
Washington is a basketball town, in spite of and alongside of it being a Redskins city, as Durant’s shoe color choice goes to communicate. Hugh “Baby Shaq” Jones, local street ball legend and hometown fan favorite next to Durant, admitted before the game that he was not a Redskins fan, to no surprise likely jibing with a random polling of D.C. faithful.
“I’m sorry, I’m a Washingtonian, but I’m not a Redskins fan,” Jones said when I spoke to him before the game, the desire to know which NFL football team he was a fan of was immediately, and inconsequentially, lost. But basketball or Redskins, which is more important to the District?