Basketball world in shock as Kevin Durant joins Golden State Warriors

Kevin Durant has announced he is leaving Oklahoma City Thunder and will join the Golden State Warriors, runners up in the 2016 NBA finals.

Small forward Durant was the leading player for the Thunder franchise over the past eight years, having joined the then Seattle SuperSonics as second overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft.

Now, though, the 27-year-old free agent, named in seven NBA All-Star teams, has decided the time is right to move on.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors goes up for a layup over Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors goes up for a layup over Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs.

In a post on The Player's Tribune website, titled My Next Chapter, Durant wrote: "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 as 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.

"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."

Durant is set to be part of the USA Olympic squad later this summer. He will be joining a team which finished the last campaign with a record 73 regular-season wins, but then lost out to Cleveland Cavaliers who became the first side to overturn a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven NBA finals.

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