by: Ryan Waldis
Kevin Durant made a heel turn for the ages when he chose to take his talents to the Bay Area today. In what was seemingly a three team race to acquire KD’s services, it appears that the Warriors came out on top over the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant took to The Player’s Tribune to explain why he chose Golden State over the other teams that were vying to land the 27 year old superstar. I’ve decided to provide a paragraph-by-paragraph translation, seeing as Mr. Durant probably couldn’t say exactly what he wanted to. Enjoy.
WHAT KD SAID: “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 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.”
WHAT KD MEANT: These past few weeks really haven’t been all that challenging for me or my family, but as I’m sure you can all understand, I need to make it seem like this is a decision that took a lot out of me, so utilizing some hyperbole would be an excellent start. I was definitely at a proverbial fork in the road, but in all honesty the two choices I had in front of me weren’t that difficult. I mean, come on, choosing to sign with the Thunder/Celtics/some other team OR choosing to sign with Golden State to play with Steph, Klay, and Draymond and win some rings? We all know that’s not a difficult decision.I didn’t truly understand the range of emotions I would feel during this process and, to be honest, I still don’t. I mean, I felt excitement when I knew I would sign with the Warriors. I also felt a little awkward during my meeting with Mr. Ballmer. You remember that tweet, “Clippers meeting with Durant was ‘intense’ and ‘at one point Steve Ballmer was crying’ but everyone grew closer and a big lesson was learned?” Yeah, that actually happened, and the lesson I learned (if you’re interested) was that I never want to be near these people again simply to avoid that kind of shit. I’m just hear to play basketball Steve-o, not learn about the value of friendship or trust or whatever.
WHAT KD SAID: “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.”
WHAT KD MEANT: I made a list (no, really, I did) of the main reasons I would sign with a team. Number one: win some rings. I just felt like getting to the Finals and winning some rings would really help me grow, not only as a player, but as a man as well. I mean, my ass has been in this league for nine years, and I’ve made the Finals once. ONCE. Greg Oden (that dude who the Trail Blazers drafted before me hahahaha how’s that one working out for ya) has as many Finals appearances as I do. That’s bullshit. Anyway, I also felt that moving to Oakland would help my evolution as a man for a number of reasons. You can read about them here! So, with all of this in mind, I decided that I’m going to join a team that just went 73-9, won the Finals in 2015, and lost in seven games this year (they blew a three games to one lead too, so I immediately felt a connection there). I’m going to join a team that has the 2013-14 MVP, the 2014-15 MVP, AND the 2015-16 MVP. I’m going to join a team that has a league scoring leader from 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, AND 2016. Friends, peers, and everyone else: I am going to join the Golden State Warriors.
WHAT KD 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.”
WHAT KD MEANT: I’m from D.C. originally as all of you have heard over the past couple of years, but the 405 truly raised me, which is why I never really considered going back to my hometown. Sorry, homies. But hey, the Redskins have Kirk Cousins, the Capitals just lost in the second round again, the Nationals have busted despite the talent on the team, and the Wizards… they… they have John Wall and other guys too! See, you guys don’t need me! Alright, back to my reasoning. OKC taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man, which is why I’m completely abandoning all of that by going to the Bay Area. 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. No, really. That’s not a cliche, there are literally no words I can use for any of that. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game, but in the end I think we can all agree that winning a few rings with Chef Curry, my main man Klay, Greeny, and Iggy is just a little more important than friendships at this point. I said it earlier, but I’ve been in the league nine years, and I still don’t have a ring. I need to start thinking about myself here, people. I’ll act like those relationships with Russ and the rest of the crew in Oklahoma City are the reason why this decision was so challenging, but I’m sure someone out there will call my bluff, so whatever. You got me.
WHAT KD SAID: “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.”
WHAT KD MEANT: I couldn’t care less about all the people that I will disappoint by signing with the Warriors and forming a super team. Those are the people that can kiss my ass when I’m holding the Larry O’Brien trophy next June. If you send me pictures and videos of your burning my jersey and calling me a traitor (or, “trader,” if you never took an English class at some point during your life) or a coward or whatever, even better!
WHAT KD SAID: “I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me.”
WHAT KD MEANT: I’ll act like I’m going to miss OKC but when me and the Golden State boys go on a 35 game winning streak and finish the season with 76 or so wins, y’ll already know that I won’t give two shits about Oklahoma City. I had a major role in building this organization into what it is today, and I guess I’ll also have a major role burning this organization down, especially if Russ leaves next year (there’s room for you here in Oakland, homie. Could you imagine Steph at the 1, you at the 2, Klay at the 3, myself at the 4, and Dray at the 5? OOOOOOOOH SHIIIIIIT). To the fans, I’m sorry that you’ll have to watch me win championship after championship while the Thunder are out at the golf course each spring. I truly hope that you can respect my decision.
Kevin Durant / Deputy Publisher