It's official. Kevin Durant is headed to play in Oakland with the Golden State Warriors, as per his announcement on the Players' Tribune, of which Durant is Deputy Publisher.
In one of the most hyped-up free agency deals, coming at a lightning-strike moment for free agents in the NBA (thanks to a $24 billion Turner Broadcasting and Disney deal), the seven-time NBA All Star forward was an extremely hot ticket in a relatively shallow free agent talent pool, boasting both height and a shooting ability ability from long range.
Durant met with his team from last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder—the franchise that he's been with since the beginning (formerly Seattle SuperSonics)—who could have maxed out his contract for five years, a longer period of time than any other teams are able. He also met with the LA Clippers, the Boston Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Miami Heat. But at the end of the day, Durant must have been too tempted to assemble what people are preemptively calling one of the best NBA offenses in history, joining the NBA's first unanimous MVP Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
The Players Tribune isn't loading for many, so here's an excerpt of his letter:
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.
Durant goes on to show love for Oklahoma City, expresses some remorse for leaving his home for eight years, and thanks his family, teammates, fans, and friends. You can read the rest here.