Kevin Durant decision affects Oklahoma businesses

Tony Durant, Wanda Durant and Kevin Durant in April 2016. CREDIT: Priscilla Clarke, Clarke & Associates

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — From his $5 million branded restaurant in Bricktown to endorsement deals with Oklahoma City-based Sonic Drive-In and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Kevin Durant’s reach in Oklahoma City stretches far off the court.

Durant partnered with Norman-based Hal Smith Restaurant Group to open KD’s restaurant in 2013, which features a “Baller Menu” featuring Bluepoint oysters and rib-eye steak. The restaurant also features a wall of Durant memorabilia.

The restaurant deleted its Twitter account after a tweet promoting a special on barbecue chicken provoked the wrath of jilted Durant fans last Monday.

The Oklahoman ( ) reports that the ill-timed tweet was posted soon after Durant made his announcement that he would leave the Oklahoma City Thunder in favor of the Golden State Warriors.

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Staff at KD’s and Hal Smith Restaurant Group’s corporate office decline to comment.

KD’s page on the restaurant review site Yelp was inundated with fake reviews after Durant announced his departure from Oklahoma City. Many of the reviews have since been removed.

“When I first ate his food, it tasted amazing, food made with respect, honesty and trust. Now it just tastes like the food of a traitor,” wrote one Yelp reviewer.

A store clerk at the Chesapeake Energy Arena’s Thunder Shop was busy marking down racks of Kevin Durant jerseys the morning after Durant announced his departure.

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Durant’s No. 35 jerseys were on sale as much as 50 percent off at the team store.

Dan Mahoney, a spokesman for the Oklahoma City Thunder, said the team wants to give Durant fans a chance to own a piece of Oklahoma City sports history.

“We didn’t want to just remove the merchandise from shelves, we wanted to give fans a chance to buy,” Mahoney said. “We often have reduced-price merchandise after season ends and we wanted to extend that.”

Durant is the first athlete that Oklahoma City-based Drive-In franchiser Sonic Corp. has used in an ad campaign. Sonic signed an endorsement deal with Durant in 2014, and has since added Durant-branded slush drinks to its menu board.

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Sonic didn’t directly address the future of the partnership with Durant.

“We are in the second year of a great partnership with Kevin Durant. Over the past two years, we’ve had the opportunity to create fun, innovative content and products with his help that you could only find at Sonic, including his two Signature Slushes,” Todd Smith, Sonic’s president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

Durant also owns an undisclosed percentage of Oklahoma City-based Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, as part of an endorsement deal with the yogurt franchiser also struck in 2014.

Geoff Goodman, president of Orange Leaf, said the company remains committed to Durant.

“We are, of course, disappointed that Kevin is leaving the Thunder,” Goodman said. “However, our relationship with Kevin is based upon the quality person that he is, and we support him regardless of geography. We wish him continued success on and off the court and respect his decision.”