Red Sox: David Ortiz reaches out to Kevin Durant
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz let Kevin Durant know why his NBA free agency decision should lead him to Boston.
The city of Boston will lose a beloved sports icon when Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz rides off into the sunset after this season, but he’s hoping another star athlete steps in to take his place.
Ortiz revealed that the Boston Celtics asked him to reach out to NBA free agent Kevin Durant to help recruit him.
He’s not the only Boston area star that the Celtics have turned to to help sell Durant on the idea of playing here. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was actually in attendance when the Celtics brass met with Durant in the Hamptons over the weekend. Ortiz says he would have liked to be there as well, but he was a bit busy on Saturday with the Red Sox hosting the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway.
So instead, Ortiz had to settle for reaching out on Twitter.
The concept of adding another banner to a storied franchise like the Celtics is part of the appeal that the organization is hoping will lure Durant to Boston. Big Papi knows about as well as anyone what it’s like to be embraced by this city after bringing home a championship, having won three World Series titles in a Red Sox uniform.
"“Boston deserves it, man. Fans here deserve that,” Ortiz told WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “They deserve the best athletes to come around and perform for them. Fans here are real fanatics. I have played in different cities and what you get here is special from the fans.”"
Ortiz also revealed that he reached out to his longtime friend Al Horford before the four-time All-Star signed with the Celtics over the weekend. He explained that Horford wanted to go somewhere where he could win and Boston presented him with a good opportunity to do so. It has also been rumored that the lackluster Atlanta crowds that he played in front of for 9 years with the Hawks pushed him to leave for a more passionate fan base.
More from Red Sox News
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Why Red Sox fans should be rooting for Carlos Correa’s Mets deal to go through
Now the Celtics are hoping that Durant will be drawn to Boston by that same atmosphere. Oklahoma City has a great home crowd, as do other strong suitors, such as the Golden State Warriors. Yet nothing quite compares to Boston. There is no greater sports city.
Durant is expected to set off fireworks by announcing his decision on Monday. Staying put in OKC or joining a juggernaut Warriors team that came within minutes of capturing their second consecutive title this year are reportedly the two top options he is weighing, but the Celtics haven’t been ruled out yet.
Even if Durant doesn’t pick Boston, there’s a realistic chance that he signs a one-year deal, which would allow him to jump back into free agency next summer under a higher salary cap. He’d also have 10 years of experience if he waits until 2017, allowing him to earn 35 percent of the salary cap instead of the 30 percent he’s eligible for now. That literally gives him millions of reasons to wait before locking in a long-term deal.
So if Durant passes on Boston for now, there’s always the chance that he reconsiders a year from now. Meeting with him now helps lay the groundwork in the event that he’s looking to sign a four-year deal next year.
Will the advice from Ortiz help? Well it certainly doesn’t hurt. The Celtics pulled out all the stops to convince the star free agent to come to Boston, including the unorthodox approach of having champions of other sports in this city join in on the recruitment pitch.
Was it enough? We’ll find out soon.