Oklahoma City Thunder free agent Kevin Durant announced Monday he will join the Golden State Warriors making a team that won an NBA-record 73 games last season even better and devastating their top rival in the process.
The basketball forward agreed to a two-year, $54 million deal with a player option in the second year.
Durant leaves Oklahoma City after nine seasons as a star and narrowly missed taking the Thunder to the NBA Finals in the last playoffs after the Warriors came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the conference finals.
I am at a point in my life where it is of equal importance to find an opportunity that encourages my evolution as a man...With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.
“I am 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,” Durant said in a statement on the Players’ Tribute. “With this in mind, I have decided that I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.”
Kevin Durant in his own words. pic.twitter.com/BrwNz0F326— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) July 4, 2016
“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,” Durant added.
Golden State, Boston, Miami, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Clippers met with Durant and his inner circle on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the Hamptons on Long Island in New York.
Durant, 27, was considered the top free agent on the market and now joins a team that is coming off back-to-back NBA Finals, a championship in 2015 and a 73-win regular season.
He will join forces with All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to form perhaps the most dangerous offense in the league.
The Warriors now have a Big Four. pic.twitter.com/UoyZU2KzzV— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 4, 2016
The Warriors fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals after leading 3-1 before melting down to hand the championship to the Cavs.
Durant, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 draft, averaged 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and five assists this past season. He led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012 and was the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2014.