Stores stand to lose thousands in Kevin Durant merchandise

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OKLAHOMA CITY - David Smith's first thought when he heard Kevin Durant was leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder came from the perspective of a fan and season ticket holder.

"I was shocked," he said. "I didn't think there's any way he'd be leaving."

And then he thought of what it would mean for his business, The Big Red Shop, which sells Thunder memorabilia.

"Business wise you're just worried you have way too many of things for that player that is no longer with you," he said. "You bank on something and you get caught with too much stock in an item."

Smith figures he could take $10,000 in losses from Kevin Durant jerseys that he now must discount to try to sell. Not to mention the Kevin Durant dolls, posters, flags, t-shirts and even napkins he has in his inventory.

"He's the staple player," he said. He's the anchor to the Thunder. So we stocked a lot of Kevin Durant product."

The pain is compounded by the loss of another popular player. The Thunder traded Serge Ibaka last month.

"Two out of every three jerseys I sold were for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and then Ibaka would be right behind him," Smith said, picking through racks of Thunder merchandise. "In the meantime you put the jerseys on sale, and they are on sale, and move on."

The Big Red Shop has slashed prices by 40-50 percent, hoping to make a dent on the inventory.

But selling the jerseys of former players isn't always easy.

Smith is still stuck with memorabilia bearing the face of James Harden, who was traded four years ago.

"Two weeks before the season, they traded James Harden and we'd already got our shipments for the NBA season," said Smith, holding a number 13 jersey. "So you're stuck with Harden. I had a whole shelf full of 'Fear the Beard.'"

Smith knows it will be tough if not impossible to make a profit on the merchandise. He's just hoping he can make as much money back as possible.

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