(Reuters) - Kevin Durant turned the conversation back to the court and away from his impending free agency with a final-second jump shot that lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-114 victory over Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
With daily reports focusing on Durant’s possible departure from Oklahoma City following this season, the All-Star forward provided a timely reminder that his loyalty at this moment remains with the Thunder.
Oklahoma City and Orlando were locked at 114-114 when Durant pulled off a nifty cross-over dribble and fired a three-pointer that found the bottom of the basket with less than a second remaining.
Prior to fending off Magic defenders, Durant had spent much of his time shaking off questions about potential new suitors.
“It’s out of my control. Guys are going to write stories about what they want to write about (and where I could go),” Durant told reporters prior to scoring 37 points in Wednesday’s game.
“(The free agency talk) is ramped up a bit. I just try to stay locked in to where I am.”
Durant, 27, has spent his entire career with the Thunder franchise dating back to their days in Seattle before they moved to Oklahoma City in 2008.
But after failing to win an NBA title alongside running mate Russell Westbrook, speculation has mounted that Durant could ply his trade elsewhere and there are no shortage of rumored suitors for the four-time league scoring champion.
He has been linked to the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, and most recently, the defending champion Golden State Warriors, in various stories swirling around him. “It’s just a part of this (free agency) process,” Durant said. “When the time comes we’ll talk about it. Right now I’m 100 percent locked in to helping (the Thunder) be the best we can be.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien