Kevin Durant has been vilified by a majority of basketball fans across the world for his decision to join the Golden State Warriors. But the former MVP has shut out the detractors and embraced Oakland as his new home.
Durant’s free agency decision came down to six teams: the incumbent Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and the Warriors. Though several reports indicated the Durant was torn between Celtics, Thunder and Warriors, the superstar forward revealed Thursday that the final decision was easier than expected.
“A lot of attention comes with being in this position. When I met these guys (Warriors management and players), I felt as comfortable as I’ve ever felt. It was organic. It was authentic. It was real. It was feelings I couldn’t ignore,” Durant said during his introductory press conference.
Kevin Durant: I’m Committed To Warriors
Durant signed a two-year $54.3 million max contract to join all-star trio Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson to form the new ‘Core Four’ of the NBA that is likely to win multiple championships. And Durant emphasized he’s making a long term commitment to Dub Nation.
“Yeah. I plan on being here. I don’t want to go through that again, so I plan on being here. I’m committed. I’m looking forward to a new era of basketball for me personally and it should be fun,” said Durant, who has an opt out clause in his contract next season.
Durant, expected to opt out next summer to sign a fresh contract to maximize his earnings, revealed that the joint pitch made by Curry, Thompson, Green and Andre Igudala sealed the deal.
“Those four coming to my meeting and talking to me about the culture and how they built it and how they want to sustain it, it was key,” said Durant, who formed a close bond with Curry and Igudala as part of the 2010 Team USA squad playing for the world championship.
Kevin Durant thanks Stephen Curry….
Durant appreciated Curry’s humility during the process. “I’ve seen a lot of guys with crazy egos. … (Curry is) the face of the NBA in a lot of peoples’ eyes, and (he) wanted to see if he really would embrace me as a player, as a person. And I had no doubts that he would. He showed that he was all-in on this. He flew away from his family to come to the meeting and be a part of the meeting and that showed me how much he cared, how much he wanted me to be a part of it.”
Meanwhile, Warriors coach Steve Kerr plans to be a spectator next season as his Super Team wreaks havoc on the league. “It’s safe to say Kevin would fit into any style. To add another guy who is so talented … He’s not just a shooter, not just a defender. He’s a basketball player. The combination of all these guys together should be a lot of fun to watch.”
Kevin Durant, a former four-time scoring champion and league MVP, averaged 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists last season.