The Sonics lost 62 games during Durant’s rookie season and much of the criticism was aimed his way. He was a chucker and little else. He didn’t defend. Durant heard it all. After he failed to bench press 185 pounds at the predraft camp, people wondered whether he’d ever grow strong enough to become a star. Even worse: They questioned whether he’d be a winner.
Said Durant: “People were saying we were going to be the worst team ever.”
Many of the moves Presti made during that first season to improve the franchise’s future came at a cost to present success. With a new ownership group already eyeing a move to Oklahoma City, Sonics fans viewed the rebuilding process with a far more skeptical opinion: Tank the season, erode support, bolt town.