Thunder general manager Sam Presti addressed Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with the Warriors at a press conference on Monday night.
“We worked together nine years,” Presti told reporters. “I have nothing but respect for him.”
“There's a new beginning here for the Thunder,” Presti added. ”“We have to embrace that, lean into that.”
Presti also spoke at length about Durant’s relationship with the state of Oklahoma.
Durant announced Monday morning on The Players’ Tribune that he will be joining Golden State after nine seasons with the Thunder. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Durant will sign a two-year, $54.3 million deal with a player option in the second year.
Presti has been the general manager of the Thunder since the team was in Seattle and drafted Durant just three weeks after being hired by the franchise in 2007.
“Kevin made an indelible mark on the Thunder organization and the state of Oklahoma as a founding father of this franchise,” Presti said in a statement released shortly after Durant announced his decision. “We can't adequately articulate what he meant to the foundation of this franchise and our success. While clearly disappointing that he has chosen to move on, the core values that he helped establish only lead to us thanking him for the many tangible and intangible ways that he helped our program.”