Less than 24 hours after NBA free agency officially opened, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob made a surprising announcement.
“Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival of Kevin Durant, a transformative NBA player and one of the best to ever play the game. He provided our fans and franchise with numerous highlights during his stay here—two NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, three trips to the Finals, unparalleled efficiency—and carried himself with class and dignity both on and off the court. His commitment to our community was evident each day, including last season when his philanthropic efforts earned him the NBA’s annual Community Assist Award. Today, as he starts a new chapter in his incredible career, we thank KD for all of his contributions, for being an integral part to one of the most prolific runs in NBA history and wish him well as he continues his Hall of Fame journey. As long as I am Co-Chairman of this team, no player will ever wear #35 for the Warriors again.”
Oh how the times have changed.
I grew up watching this Warriors team never believing that they could ever be the top dog. The years of horrible draft picks during the 1990s became normal. Then the years of realizing no big free agent would want to sign here was also just an accepted fact. And hey, the Warriors were just never going to be good.
Yet in only a matter of a few seasons, the Warriors were the top dog. They win a championship. They have the league MVP. They are the talk of the league. Yet all of that was still cool with me because the Warriors did this organically. Pulling off trades. Signing players that were discarded. Building through the draft.
This team to me was a team that had to fight and claw for survival. And they did that leading up to this recent run.
Now Kevin Durant changes all of it.
Kevin Durant’s first and only season in Seattle.
The Seattle SuperSonics in their final season in the city, drafted Kevin Durant as the #2 overall pick in 2007. That draft pick would be a major piece of the foundation of what the team would be in future years.
However, the city of Seattle never got a chance to reap the benefits of that. Their move to Oklahoma City and name change still hurts the fans of the Pacific Northwest.
Durant was in Seattle for the Jamal Crawford Pro Am (he scored 63 points) and returning to Seattle brought back memories.
He has spoken highly of Seattle numerous times since leaving and he did so again Sunday.
Space-themed Kevin Durant shoes with a subtle star and #35.
Check this out. Nike unveiled the shoes that LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant will be wearing for the All-Star game that nobody really cares about.
As is customary for many All-Stars, the game is a showcase of new footwear for the consumers. Nike has taken the idea of space travel (the game is played in Houston) and given these three players shoes to reflect that.
CHECK OUT THE GALLERY ON NIKE’S SITE