One of the NBA's biggest stars is on his way to California
Kevin Durant shocked a lot of people on Monday as he announced that he was headed to join the Golden State Warriors.
Durant was on the wrong end of a Warriors comeback in the NBA Finals earlier this year, as they defeated his Oklahoma City side despite falling 3-1 behind in the series.
After being wooed by several teams during the free agency break, he's decided to join the team that came so close to winning back-to-back titles this season, and compete alongside such stars as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as they look to make it back to the top of the mountain next season.
In a statement on The Players' Tribune, The 27-year-old Durant said that "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."
"It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice," added Durant, "but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career."
The move has come as a huge shock to many, given that Durant was one of those who criticised the explosion of so-called 'super teams' when LeBron James was playing for the Miami Heat a few years ago.
Kevin Durant tweeted this back in 2010. pic.twitter.com/fk2BVj53X9— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) 4 July 2016
The reaction to the move has been predictably huge online, as people weigh in on whether this is a good or bad move for the star.
I don't blame KD for picking GSW but this will become the most belatedly retweeted NBA tweet ever. https://t.co/F3crZAMTxK— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 4, 2016
Those looking for a KD and football comparison, it's like Antoine Griezmann going to Barcelona on a free transfer.— Robbie Dunne (@bobdonadini) 4 July 2016
Getting a lot of "SMH" texts from NBA players regarding the Kevin Durant news. This is bad news for other contenders.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) 4 July 2016
Players from around the league also weighed in on the move, with Durant's new team-mates welcoming him aboard, and others stating that it was bad news for the league as a whole.
Sigh— Ekpe Udoh (@EkpeUdoh) 4 July 2016
The game has really changed. #happy4thofjuly— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) 4 July 2016
David Eugene Chappelle... Start planning the next Player Haters Ball— Andre Iguodala (@andre) 4 July 2016
Whoa...— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) 4 July 2016
Speaking on ESPN, pundit Stephen A. Smith criticised Durant heavily for the move, stating that Oklahoma City "were up 3-1 in a Western Conference Final and not one, not two, but three different times he was 48 minutes removed from getting to the NBA finals by winning the Western Conference.
"Three times he failed, particularly in Game Six and you depart for the team that beat you when you're on the cusp of getting to the Finals yourself, or ultimately winning the franchise that you've been with since you've come into the NBA? I think it's incredibly weak."
Don't give a damn what anyone says: weak move by KD. You go to GSW, the team who beat you, when you're already on a title contender? Please!— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) 4 July 2016
Elsewhere, fans of OKC are already burning their Durant shirts.