The minute Oklahoma City found out that they are losing Kevin Durant, who chose to play with the Golden State Warriors, he already became a branded man. Thunder fans started to burn his jersey and called him a “traitor” while fans at the San Francisco Bay Area started to customize theirs with the use of markers.
News of Durant leaving the Thunder spread like wildfire on social media as people posted videos of them burning their Durant jerseys out of frustrations of KD’s decision. However, some of those Thunder fans managed to put away the fire as they could not burn their Durant jersey.
I wish Durant would have stuck around like the plastic this jersey was made out of pic.twitter.com/jhl7iLuy4e
— Jacob DeLaughter (@jakedelaughter) July 4, 2016
With the chaos made by Durant’s decision, Warriors’ fans, on the other hand, were on jubilation as they could not wait for Durant’s jersey with the Warriors to come out. In fact, some even customized their own. ESPN’s Marc Spears posted a picture of a kid with a customized Warriors’ jersey with Durant’s name and number on it.
Guess this kid in Oakland couldn't wait for his new Kevin Durant jersey. pic.twitter.com/ZFhEl0LXov
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 5, 2016
Durant shocked everyone when he announced Monday of his decision to join the Warriors after thorough deliberation at the start of the free agency season. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Durant agrees to a two-year $54.3 million contract with the Warriors. Durant on his post on The Player’s Tribune wrote that his decision to move with the Warriors was based on his growth as a player. He thanked Oklahoma City for accepting him and hoped that they would accept his decision as well.
“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,” Durant wrote. “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.”
Kevin Durant will sign a two-year deal with the Warriors at $54.3 million, league sources say, with a Player Option for Year 2
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 4, 2016
For the Thunder, general manager Sam Presti expressed his team’s disappointment over Durant’s departure by issuing a statement as noted by ESPN. He explained that Durant was part of the core of the franchise and described him as one of the “founding father of this franchise.”
“Kevin made an indelible mark on the Thunder organization and the state of Oklahoma as a founding father of this franchise,” Presti said. “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.”
Durant has moved on and has agreed to terms with the Warriors. Durant hopes that the Thunder together with the fans would also do the same. It would be hard for fans to forget what Durant did, but his decision only puts one thing about the league, it is all about business.
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr