Kevin Durant signed a two-year, $54 million deal to join the Golden State Warriors, and was introduced at a press conference on Thursday afternoon in Oakland, Calif.
Speaking before the media for the first time as a member of the Warriors, the star forward discussed his difficult decision to leave Oklahoma City, which he said was quite emotional.
“That call to Oklahoma City was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Durant said. “Tears were shed.”
Later in his press conference, Durant also addressed the number of basketball fans that are unhappy with his choice to join a Warriors team that won a record 73 games last season, and returns most of its core.
“I know I haven’t changed as a person, I don’t treat people any differently because I made a decision to play basketball in another city,” Durant said. “It’s the best decision for me. I can’t really control how you feel. I’m sorry you feel that way.”
In a side session, Durant said that he plans on staying in Golden State long-term.
Durant: "I plan on being here. I don't want to go through that again."— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 7, 2016
Durant joins a Warriors team that lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, becoming the first team in history to blow a 3–1 series lead. To make space for Durant, the team renounced forward Harrison Barnes and big man Festus Ezeli, and dealt center Andrew Bogut to Dallas.
– Kenny Ducey