Kevin Durant Announces He Will Join Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant is making his way to the San Francisco Bay Area to join the Golden State Warriors. “I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors,” Durant said in a Statement.
Durant came out of Texas as the No. 2 pick of the 2007 NBA draft to the Seattle SuperSonics. That only lasted a year as the team moved to Oklahoma City as the Thunder the following season. He won the 2014 NBA MVP, 28.2 points & 8.2 rebounds per game this past regular season. He has also been selected to the US Olympic men’s national team for the Rio Games.
With how valuable Durrant is, why is he leaving OKC? It all comes down to the same reason Karl Malone left his home with the Utah Jazz to rival Los Angeles Lakers, it’s all about winning a Championship title. Durant wants a ring and the best place to do that will be with the Warriors. OKC had a chance to make it to their third Championship game but lost to the Warriors when they stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to win the conference finals. If you can’t beat them, you might as well join them.
Durrant will sign a two-year, $54.3 million dollar contract with a player option after the first year. Over time this deal will make him more money by signing a long-term deal after the salary cap jump next year.
Durant said in a statement on The Players Tribune, “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.”
Durant feels that this is the best decision for him to win, but it takes time to win even when building a power team. The Heat built a dream team with Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh in 2011 and lost in the championship game 2-4 to the Dallas Mavericks. The Lakers had the super team in 2004 with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Derek Fisher, Gary Payton, Karl Malone, Horace Grant and many others but lost in the Championship game 1-4 against the Detroit Pistons. The 2012 Clippers had Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, and were a strong team but went 0-4 to the Spurs in the Semifinals.
Now let’s look at the other side. The 2008 Celtics beat the Leakers 4-2 with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo. Kevin Durant can have a quick impact and take a team that is already a winning team to a championship team. Looking at the Warrior line up with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes (possibly going to Dallas), Andrew Bogut, and add in Kevin Durrant. The Warriors went 73-9 setting the NBA record for the most wins in a season by edging out the Bulls record at 72-10 set in 1996.
Durant said in his statement, “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.”
When Lebron left Clevland he was the most hated player in the NBA, but he was seeking a championship. He picked up two of those and then returned back to Cleveland to give them a championship. Will we see Durant do the same after he wins in the San Francisco Bay Area?
Durant said, “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.”
The Warriors will be paying four players close to the max salaries Durant ($54.3 million – 2 years) Klay Thompson ($16.6 million), Draymond Green ($15.3 million), and Steph Curry ($12.1 million). and will short change the rest of the team. This means the team will not stay the same after the next season as many players will be short-changed and will have to take pay cuts. The Warriors will have to sign several one-year contracts, get older players who want a ring, and less talented players to chase the ring.
The Westgate released the best odds to win 2016-17 NBA Championship