If a fresh start in a new city, a talented young roster and an annual salary of some $28 million aren't enough to lure NBA superstar Kevin Durant to the Boston Celtics this summer, one beantown-based company has sweetened the pot. The ride-hailing app Fasten — think Uber and Lyft — has offered the free-agent-to-be free rides for life should he leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Celtics.
Fasten, which markets itself as the cheapest ride in town and says it pays its drivers better, published a blog post Thursday announcing the offer. Fasten is primarily based in Boston, with some coverage in Austin, Texas, as well.
Durant's Thunder was eliminated in the Western Conference Finals by the Golden State Warriors, despite Oklahoma City jumping out to a 3 -1 series lead. Fasten is attempting to do its part to bring Durant to the typically weaker Eastern Conference, which many still consider unlikely.
The company wrote in the announcement: "In case you haven’t heard, All-Star Kevin Durant is an unrestricted free agent this summer. But the chances floating around of him joining the Celtics range from CSN’s measly 2.5% to Boston Globe’s 10% and Sports Illustrated 15%. Not high. Is there something Fasten could do to swing the odds a little more in Boston’s favor? Probably not. But considering what’s at stake — a solid shot at the 18th Celtic title and seeing '2017 World Champions' hung in the Garden — we figured giving KD free rides for life might just help."
Durant is a transcendent star who nearly carried Oklahoma City Thunder to the Finals alongside point guard Russell Westbrook. He averaged 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and five assists this season and won an MVP award in 2013-2014. His potential foray into free agency is likely the most anticipated since LeBron James' "the Decision" in which he left Cleveland. It has been reported that at least eight franchises will make a concerted effort to court him in the offseason.
Perhaps indicating the voraciousness of the Boston fan base, the NBA Finals aren't even over yet (Golden State leads the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-1), and Fasten isn't the first Boston company to offer incentives to the star forward. Boston-based Legal Sea Foods offered Wednesday free crab legs to Durant, who has expressed a fondness for seafood.
Fasten's offer also extended to the city's residents, with the company announcing that users who entered the promo code "KDTOBOSTON" would get $18 off their first ride. The 18 represents the Celtics' chase of an 18th NBA championship for the franchise.