The Golden State Warriors pulled off a serious coup in the week as they convinced Kevin Durant his future was best served with them. It's not hard to see why; they have a team of superstars, and despite losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals, are seen as the strongest roster in the league.
However, prizing Durant away from the Thunder was the real task. His relationship with the city of Oklahoma was deeply entrenched after nine years with the organisation, and what he meant to the people can be seen in mayor Mick Cornett's recent comments.
In disbelief, he said: "We're stunned. We had no history. Kevin was our Ernie Banks and Michael Jordan. He's the history."
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So what exactly was it that convinced KD to move to the Bay? Championships, of course. The 27-year-old is without a ring and one quick glance at the odds for next season will show you what the bookmakers think of his move to the west coast.
However, there was a combination of elements that turned the small forward's head and made his entourage believe the Oracle Arena was the best place for him to call home.
Durant has strong relationships with a number of the Warriors roster. His friendship with Draymond Green reportedly caused some issues within the OKC locker room during the Conference Finals, and the former second-round draft pick played a big role in the meetings with his friend.
Green's pitch stretched well beyond a meeting that he described as 'great'. He exchanged a lot of text messages with the 2014 MVP and continually told him how good things were within the locker room in the Bay.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, he expanded by saying: "I was really just telling him about the fun we have together—the fun that this team has and how he would be welcome here with open arms. And it’s not about ‘I’ with us on this team. It’s all about ‘we’ and winning championships."
KD also struck up a bond with Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala during their time together at the 2010 FIBA World Cup. They have kept in contact ever since those gold medal days and Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reported that Steph sent the seven-time All-Star a message saying 'he could care less who was the face of the franchise', it's all about rings.
When you have two superstars, including a two-time MVP and the first unanimous winner in history, saying it is all about winning, then it's very hard to resist. Add the presence of Jerry West in the meetings and on the phone then it is clear to see why Durant made his decision. KD is a lover of basketball history and they don't get any bigger than Mr. West.
Well done Warriors.