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.