Oakland, CA – The sports world awaited his decision Monday morning, even I assumed the news would read “Kevin Durant Stays in OKC”. But even I was wrong and shocked when the news was delivered this AM via The Players Tribune. The NBA’s biggest free agency move happened today.
Kevin Durant announced that he will join the Golden State Warriors for a two-year deal. This will be the Bay Area’s next biggest star to join a team since Barry Binds signed with the San Francisco Giants. Durant’s eliteness in the league is by far more successful than any current Warriors player despite winning a championship or two MVP’s.
A new journey begins after nine season in Oklahoma City. Durant leaves behind a team that made it back to the playoffs after a injury riddle season in 2015. The 2014 MVP decided it’s time to move on and his choice is the team who has dominated OKC over the years. In a heartfelt messages titled “My Next Chapter” Durant wrote:
“This has been by far the most challenging few weeks in my professional life. I understood cognitively that I was facing a crossroads in my evolution as a player and as a man, and that it came with exceptionally difficult choices. What I didn’t truly understand, however, was the range of emotions I would feel during this process.
The primary mandate I had for myself in making this decision was to have it based on the potential for my growth as a player — as that has always steered me in the right direction. But I am also at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man: moving out of my comfort zone to a new city and community which offers the greatest potential for my contribution and personal growth. With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.
I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man. There are no words to express what the organization and the community mean to me, and what they will represent in my life and in my heart forever. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game. Those invaluable relationships are what made this deliberation so challenging.
It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career.
I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me.”
Golden State sent Andrew Bogut (who removed all Warriors logo off his Twitter account once Durant’s news hit the internet) and Harrison Barnes to the Dallas Mavericks. And released Festus Ezeli to free up cap space to sign Durant. Looking into the future the Warriors might be the best shooting team in the league. But without a big man who can play excellent defense along side Draymond Green, this move won’t make sense.