Kevin Durant has decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to the utter shock of many. The NBA's 2013-14 MVP and one of the most unique talents in history, possessing the kind of complete scoring and fluidity that we've never seen in a near 7-footer, has made his free agency decision at long last. It's a decision that kept the basketball world in a state of sheer tension all July 4th morning, and will now give the Warriors and their ecstatic fans an utter sense of relief and joy.
After being drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 2nd overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, picking up a chip on his shoulder that would motivate him to destroy countless opponents, Durant spent the first year of his career with the Sonics before continuing with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the next eight.
In that time, he's done more than enough to earn the 2007-08 Rookie of the Year award, seven All-Star appearances, one MVP award, four scoring titles (his career-high came in 2013-14 with 32 points per game) and six All-NBA honors, five of which were the First Team.
This season, it was strange in a way to see him only make the Second Team behind Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James, but that obviously doesn't take anything away from Durant being one of the most unique physical, skillful specimens we've ever seen grace a basketball court.
With an absurd wingspan and his long frame, Durant plays with more ferocity, explosiveness, and fire than you may initially expect from someone with his slender frame. But that's what he does. He's the ultimate definition of a forward (a near 7'0″ one at that) having guard skills, from his quick handles to his silky pull-up jumpers off the dribble.
From the stellar efficiency across the board to his threat as a deadly small-ball four in today's NBA, he can do so much at both ends of the floor. And to add to his scoring history, Durant played the best defense of his life during the Thunder's playoff run this year, in particular against the Warriors as they built up (and ultimately lost) a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Finals.
Now, Durant creates a far different legacy by switching from the franchise that has raised him, suffering from even more scrutiny (as he could have faced either way from fans) by joining the team that eliminated him in the playoffs. The "if you can't beat them, join them," saying certainly seems appropriate here, but Durant had every right to make the best decision for his own career.
While guys like Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and possibly others will need to go to create cap space, the thought of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green forming the best shooting lineup in NBA history is simply terrifying for everyone outside of Golden State. Just think what fear a new "Super Death" lineup will bring into the NBA with Durant's scoring and length at the four instead of Barnes.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 24: NBA player Kevin Durant attends the game between the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on September 24, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - MARCH 29 : Kevin Durant #3 of the West moves the ball against the East during the 2006 McDonald's All American High School Basketball game at Cox Arena on March 29, 2006 in San Diego, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Texas forward Kevin Durant (35) is shown during first half action in their college basketball game Friday, Nov. 10, 2006, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
Texas forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with fans following the team's win over Texas A&M in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
** ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JUNE 23-24 -- FILE -- ** Basketball players Kevin Durant, right, from the University of Texas, and Greg Oden, from Ohio State University, pose with a USA Basketball senior national team jersey as they officially join the team during a news conference in Las Vegas, in this May 23, 2007 file photo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Texas' Kevin Durant takes questions in the interview room after being selected by the Seattle Supersonics as the No. 2 overall pick in the first round of the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 28, 2007. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Seattle SuperSonics' Kevin Durant smiles as he holds a basketball at the team's first practice, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007, in Seattle. Durant, the second overall draft pick in June, begins his NBA life as the Sonics begin preseason practice. Seattle isn't shying away from loading last season's national player of the year as a freshman at Texas with high expectations. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle SuperSonics' Kevin Durant ,left, drives past New Orleans Hornets' Morris Peterson in a NBA basketball game during the first half Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007 in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jim Bryant)
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Seattle Supersonics' Kevin Durant line up against each other during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, March 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Seattle SuperSonics' Kevin Durant holds his trophy after he was named NBA basketball's Rookie of the Year, Thursday, May 1, 2008 in Bellevue, Wash. Durant averaged 20.3 points per game. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Golden State Warriors guard Anthony Morrow, left, goes up for a shot in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kevin Durant reacts as Oklahoma City defeats the Charlotte Bobcats 84-81 in an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, April 10, 2009. Durant had 20 points in the victory. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) tries to get past Cleveland Cavaliers' Daniel Gibson (1) in an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant reacts from the bench late in the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010. Durant led the Thunder with 33 points to beat the Blazers 89-77.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant shoots against the San Antonio Spurs in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, March 22, 2010. Durant had 45 points, but San Antonio won 99-96. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, low-fives teammate forward Nick Collison, left, during player introductions prior to an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, March 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, looks on from the bench along with guard Russell Westbrook during the closing seconds in Game 5 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, April 27, 2010, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 111-87. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
United States Kevin Durant reacts during the semifinal between USA and Lithuania at the World Basketball Championship, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, in Istanbul, Turkey. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant dunks against the Golden State Warriors in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. Durant had 28 points as Oklahoma City won 114-109. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, left, and Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, right, stand together and watch a foul shot in the second quarter of Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, right, drives around New York Knicks guard Bill Walker, left, in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. The Thunder won 104-92. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant speaks during an NBA All Star basketball player news conference, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. The NBA All Star game will be played in Orlando on Sunday. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) celebrates against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of Game 6 in the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in Oklahoma City. The Thunder won 107-99. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Kevin Durant of the U.S. men's senior national team reacts during a pre-Olympic friendly basketball match against Argentina at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, July 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, center, reaches for a loose ball with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, and forward Pau Gasol, of Spain, during the second half of their NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 105-96. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) is pictured during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Oklahoma City, Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) puts pressure on Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the fourth period of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The Thunder won 112-95. (AP PhotoAlan Diaz)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant shoots in front of Miami Heat forward LeBron James during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. Miami won 103-81. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts after hitting a foul shot in overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. Oklahoma City won 137-134. Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic is at left. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant plays in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)