He still very much likes his club’s situation -- and …

He still very much likes his club’s situation — and rightly so — but he is well aware of how much different things could have looked if Durant had gone Green. And, just like the Celtic citizenry, he has wondered whether he could have done anything that would have changed that decision. Could he have made a trade? Could he have acquired a key player that convinced Kevin Durant to sign here? “You know, I thought about that before and I’ve thought about that after, and I really don’t think so — shy of a couple of moves that I couldn’t do,” Ainge told the Herald in a lengthy conversation this morning. “But in deals that we could have done that we refused to do, I don’t think that would have mattered for this. I think that KD really likes our players.” In other words, Ainge would have had to part with one or more core players that were part of the reason Durant was attracted to the Celtics in the first place.

More on Kevin Durant Free Agency

The Celts did get Al Horford to agree to a free agent deal, a move the now-former Atlanta center delivered via Twitter after Ainge, Brad Stevens, ownership, a group of players and Tom Brady had met with Durant in the Hamptons earlier on Saturday. But Durant may have been ahead of the C’s on that news. “I got the impression that they knew something before we did,” said Ainge. “I know that they had some conversation. They were very familiar with what Horford was choosing between. It seemed to me in the presentation like Al and KD had been discussing their plans together.”
The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent forward Kevin Durant, the team announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released. A six-time All-NBA Selection (five First Team, one Second Team) and four-time single-season scoring leader, Durant was named the league MVP in 2013-14, tallying a career-best and league-leading 32.0 points per game.
As you can see, CARMELO thinks many of these free agents are likely to underperform the dollar amount of the contracts they’ve agreed to. There’s a reason for this. Let’s use Kevin Durant as an example. Durant is harder to pin down than the average free agent. If he re-signs with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he could sign a five-year contract worth $153 million; if he signs with a different team, the most he could sign for is four years and $114 million — about $2 million less annually.2 But because of the way pay structure works in the NBA, Durant will have accrued enough “experience” in the league to jump up a tier in maximum pay after next season. That means both of those long-term figures could increase dramatically if Durant signs a two-year deal with an opt-out after the first year and then signs long-term next season.
Marcus Thompson: Kevin Durant will sign his contract with the Warriors tomorrow ... Two-year deal at his full max with a player option ... as expected
Oklahoma City police have increased patrol near Kevin Durant’s Bricktown home. Police are concerned after videos were posted online showing someone putting a "For Sale" sign outside his home, and writing the word "coward" on it.
KD’s shoes used to be very popular at House of Hoops. Employees told News 9 that customers have been taking those shoes back. They’ve been returning them since news broke that KD is no longer going to be a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Reggie Miller: But the media, of which I am a part, always says, "Well, he never won a championship." And I get that; I understand that. Not winning a championship burns me to this day. After reaching six Eastern Conference Finals and an NBA Finals only to finish without a title, I sympathize with Durant's dilemma. A rebound, loose ball, free throw, missed assignment, missed box-out can change everything. Being so close and ultimately losing sucks. Nevertheless, it was the fight to put Indiana on the map that, in my mind, is my greatest accomplishment.
Gilbert Arenas: Who ever thinks #Kevin is a coward for leaving #YourStupid...Media has FOOLED you for decades..they have made you believe that the best players and smartest are champions....if you didnt win a ring you're legacy is incomplete. #CBarkley #Ewing #Cwebb #A.I #ReggieM etc cant be the best of the best because they didnt win a ring BUT no one has EVER mentioned the (Business of Basketball) only 5 % of sports owners wanna win CHAMPIONSHIPS and will SPEND the money to do so. #Lakers #GS #spurs #Dallas #Miami #NYK then u have the (Lets just make the playoffs group
Durant wanted an offense that kept the ball moving and provided him easier scoring chances. The Thunder fired coach Scott Brooks and brought in Billy Donovan, and still the offense stalled out at key moments, often with Westbrook dribbling into oblivion. The Thunder led the NBA in blown fourth-quarter leads last season, according to Darnell Mayberry of NewsOK.com, despite their firepower. "Ultimately, he got frustrated and felt that they had plateaued," said a person with insight into Durant's thought process. "[Donovan] came in, and he still had the same issues that he had with Russ under Scotty. The offense didn't change much. He still had to take a ton of contested shots every game; and that's when he had the ball at all."
Privately, Durant was annoyed with a perceived media infatuation with the Warriors and Curry. He joked about how the Warriors were suddenly the "poster child" for the league. He expressed angst to friends about how the Warriors could seemingly do no wrong. He had come off a 2014-15 season from hell -- three surgeries on his foot in the wake of his triumphant MVP, an award he desperately wanted. He was supposed to be Curry -- the aw-shucks golden child who plowed his way through the league and dethroned LeBron James. Instead, he was in a boot watching Curry win an MVP and a championship.
The Mayor of Oklahoma City is concerned for Kevin Durant -- telling TMZ Sports he thinks KD got "bad advice" about leaving town ... adding, "I suspect it won't work out." We spoke with Mayor Mick Cornett -- a huge sports fan who also used to be a sports anchor -- who tells us he loves KD as a person, but believes the move to Golden State is a mistake. "Nothing in this is Kevin’s fault," Cornett says. "My only observation is ... I think he may have gotten bad advice and I suspect it won’t work out." "Now, I could be wrong but that’s what it feels like to me. I think he got bad advice.”
Q: From the human standpoint, Sam, before you even think about the roster and the future and the organization, how did this news hit you and where does it leave you? Sam Presti: “Well obviously disappointed, but also very respectful of the fact that Kevin had earned the right to make the best decision for himself. And I also think it’s an opportunity to reflect on what he was so integral in building. It’s very rare that a player essentially gets to found a franchise, and see it to the heights that we’ve been fortunate enough to achieve. Four out of six Western Conference Finals, a trip to the Finals, the fourth best record in professional sports over the past six seasons, with San Antonio, New England, and Green Bay. He was truly one of the founding fathers of the program, along with Russell and Nick Collison. So there’s disappointment that that chapter has ended, but also respect for his service and his commitment.
Presti: “Like I said before, it’s disappointing that his tenure with the organization has come to a close. But in his final season, and what I felt like was maybe his best season as a franchise we were 7-5 in the postseason against the Spurs and the Warriors. Offensively, we were incredibly successful against two of the better defenses in the league in back to back series. I think the outcome surely is disappointing, but the mettle and the spirit and the focus that that particular team showed throughout the season and into the postseason was one of the finer moments in the evolution of the organization – if not its finest moments, given the competition we were facing and the way we handled it with poise and composure and toughness.”
Q: Did you chat with him after Kevin’s decision? Presti: “Obviously (because Presti was) flying back from New York, I haven’t spoken with him. I’ve texted with him, and he and I have been in contact, as I have been with a lot of our players through this process. This is a group of people who have been through quite a bit together, so he and I will have our conversation, and reflect on it, but I would let Russell convey and express however he feels.”
Durant told the Warriors throughout the process that he liked their franchise more than any other. He told them he wanted to play with Curry & Co., and he loved Steve Kerr's system, and the Silicon Valley sensibilities of Joe Lacob's front office. But he always told the Warriors he wasn't sure if he could leave OKC because of everything that had been built there, and because of his loyalties to Westbrook and others.
In the end, the Warriors were the only team that really drew Durant's interest. His reps at Nike love the idea of him stationed in the San Francisco Bay Area, even playing with Under Armour's signature star, league sources said. Executives from another team that met with Durant said he spent most of the meeting silent and didn't ask any questions. Without the cap spike, the Warriors would have had to make more painful sacrifices to get in the conversation.
While Durant was said to have enjoyed the presence of the Patriots quarterback, he may have been more impressed with the chance to not just join a winner but be the major part in building one. “He’s told people for a while that he likes that whole Celtics thing and the tradition and the way the people there are into the team — all the teams up there,” said a league source. “But I still think he was looking out West. The part I don’t know is how much the Horford signing made him stop and think again about Boston, but I think it had to be some.”
Interestingly, some of the teams in the hunt were told that Durant was turned off by something he heard in the Warriors’ initial presentation. “They were telling him about how they were going to win championships even if he didn’t come there,” said a coach. “I don’t think they came right out and said he wasn’t going to win if he didn’t sign with them — that would be crazy — but I was told that’s how he kind of took it.”
Said another source, a call from Warriors exec Jerry West smoothed over any issues Durant may have had. “I think that was important,” he said. “I think Kevin was interested in Golden State big time as the playoffs went on, but if he had any doubts, I think hearing from someone of Jerry West’s stature was important. When Jerry talks, you listen. Some young guys may not get how big a deal Jerry West is, but Kevin is a bright guy and he’s into the history of the game. He knows what Jerry West is to basketball.
The Jerry West phone call really made a difference. “The Logo,” as the NBA legend/Warriors executive board member/part owner is informally known, had a phone conversation that lasted approximately 30 minutes with Durant on Saturday. The Warriors had asked Durant if he wanted to talk to West, and he obliged. And how’s this for unexpected? West never once told Durant that he should sign with the Warriors. Instead, in what was clearly a theme of Durant’s decision-making process, they discussed what was best for his growth and happiness as a player.
According to a person who saw the text messages, Curry told Durant in a text message that he could care less about who is the face of the franchise, who gets the most recognition or who sells the most shoes (Curry is with Under Armor, Durant with Nike). The two-time NBA MVP also told Durant that if Durant won the MVP award again he would be in the front row of the press conference clapping for him. In closing, Curry’s message to Durant was that all he truly cared about was winning championships and he’d like to do that as his teammate.
Nick Friedell: Emotional day for OKC. Not to mention support staff within organization. Everybody coming to grips with the fact KD is actually leaving. Shock of decision isn't going to wear off for a long time. Former Thunder big man Serge Ibaka declined comment when asked about Durant's decision.
Wanda Durant: @KDTrey5 I love you son, I'm proud of you. CONGRATS. @okcthunder I will always love you all…ALWAYS
Royce Young: One thing that has to be said: The league made this possible. The lockout was supposed to help small markets. It didn't. Instead, the new CBA forced OKC to trade Harden, then the inability to prepare or smooth the new cap allowed the Warriors to sign Durant.
Marcin Gortat: Thats crazy!!!! KD in GSW???? .... R they gonna score 200 points a game
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.
I’m from Washington, D.C. originally, but Oklahoma City truly raised me. It taught me so much about family as well as what it means to be a man. There are no words to express what the organization and the community mean to me, and what they will represent in my life and in my heart forever. The memories and friendships are something that go far beyond the game. Those invaluable relationships are what made this deliberation so challenging.
It really pains me to know that I will disappoint so many people with this choice, but I believe I am doing what I feel is the right thing at this point in my life and my playing career.
Marc Stein: Kevin Durant will sign a two-year deal with the Warriors at $54.3 million, league sources say, with a Player Option for Year 2
As we wait, we’re learning more about the phone conversation that Warriors executive board member Jerry West had with Durant yesterday, which I first reported on Twitter a few hours ago and caused a bit of a firestorm. That tells you how big West is–just the news that he talked to Durant on the phone (I heard it was for 20 minutes, and I heard it was a very good conversation) shook up the NBA transom.
This echoes and expands on everything I heard about the conversation, which was strictly about basketball and served as a bookend to the Warriors’ earlier face-to-face presentation to Durant on Friday–attended by Joe Lacob, Bob Myers, Steve Kerr, Curry, Green, Thompson and Andre Iguodala. I would assume West either naturally fell into place or was always set up to be the Warriors’ closer, and this is a man who signed Shaquille O’Neal in 1996 and has been a part of so many huge NBA moments, titles and transactions.
When Boston was included among the six teams that Kevin Durant was going to talk to during free agency this month, the Celtics were viewed as a team he was feeling out as more of a possibility for the summer of 2017 when Durant is expected to hit the free agent market for the second year in a row. However, a league source with intimate knowledge of Boston’s thinking in regards to Durant as well as another league source, both told CSNNE.com that Boston’s pitch to Durant this weekend was good enough to where he’s "seriously considering" the Celtics right now as opposed to down the road.
The team's presentation, as well as the inclusion of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady - one of Durant's favorite players - made a very "favorable impression" on Durant to the point where, according to one source, it's no longer that big a stretch for him to seriously think about Boston as his next basketball home.
Storyline: Kevin Durant Free Agency
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January 28, 2021 | 9:27 am EST Update
“I tell the players all the time and I told Kelly today, this is where you really earn your money. The basketball part is the easy part. Packing up your family and leaving, getting injured, getting booed, or reading your name in trade rumors, those thing are not easy. So I was really proud of Kelly. He handled it really well. “We texted this afternoon, and I told him just now how proud I was of him, because it’s not easy to play through that stuff, and he came in and had one of his best games.”

Richaun Holmes: 'I absolutely love playing in Sacramento'

That isn’t the case with Richaun Holmes. Former general manager Vlade Divac found a diamond in the rough during the summer of 2019 and the Kings’ starting center would love nothing more than to stick around when his two-year contract expires this summer. “Absolutely,” Holmes said on a recent taping of Kings Central on NBC Sports California. “I absolutely love playing in Sacramento. Love the fans in Sacramento. Love stepping out in that arena with Sacramento across my jersey. So I would love to play here and hopefully everything works out, but Sacramento is a great place to play. They’ve embraced me with open arms and it’s somewhere I can definitely see myself playing.”
Shaquille O’Neal thinks the usual Super Bowl pre-game coverage is super lame — so he’s created his own event with a ton of his famous friends … and he’s calling it, “The Shaq Bowl.” Superstars like Tim Tebow, Ezekiel Elliott, Diplo, The Miz, Anthony Anderson, Nelly, Offset and more are all booked to compete in various crazy events at a custom-built Shaq Bowl stadium in Tampa on Feb. 7.
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