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Kevin Durant Officially Signs With Warriors, Talks Publicly For First Time

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Kevin Durant officially signed a two-year contract with the Golden State Warriors on Thursday afternoon, and was introduced to the media with a news conference at the Warriors practice facility. Durant was able to talk publicly for the first time since making the announcement, and here are a few highlights from what he said: 

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On these last couple of weeks... “It’s been hectic. A lot of attention comes with being in this position, I knew that. I met these guys and felt as comfortable as I’ve ever felt. It was organic, it was authentic, it was real, it was feelings that I couldn’t ignore. I made a decision to come play with these guys and I feel great and I’m excited for this opportunity.”

On how difficult the decision was... “It was difficult. Being in a place for so long and the relationships I built, it was hard. I went back-and-forth for two or three days it was tough. I’ve been there for so long, but this new journey I’m excited for, I’m looking forward to. Those nine years, you can’t erase. That love doesn’t fade, those memories don’t erase. That’s always going to be apart of who I am but this next step in my life I want to conquer it and get better every single day.”

On those who vilify his decision to join the Warriors... “I can’t control that. All I can control is how I come to work every single day and what I can do to help this team win. I knew that was apart of this whole deal, that’s just the life we live. But every single day all I can control is how I work, I just can’t worry about the outside noise.”

On when he made the decision... “The night before we were talking and I was just torn, and I told them (agent Rich Kleiman, manager Charlie Bell) I wanted to sleep on it, and when I woke up, I woke up at about 7 o’clock in the morning and they were asleep and I woke them up and said I wanted to go to the Warriors. And we all gave each other hugs and we moved on from there. We knew a lot of attention was going to come with it, but we just stuck to what I wanted to do.

On telling the Thunder... “I called Oklahoma City and It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Tears were shed, but like I said, this is a new journey for me, testing the unknown and I trusted my gut and I trusted my instincts. It’s the unpopular decision but I can live with it.”

To those who say he’s taking a short cut to a championship... “Nothing in this league is easy, there’s not shortcuts. We still have 82 games to play. It’s an adjustment period. This is the hardest road. I don’t know anybody here, I’ve never lived in this community, I’ve never played for this team and I took a leap.”

On if he feels guilty for joining the Warriors... “No. We live in this superhero, comic book world where you’re either the villain or superhero if you’re in this position, and I know that. I know I haven’t changed as a person, I don’t treat people any differently because I chose to play basketball in another city. I understand the fans in Oklahoma City and basketball fans around the world are I guess upset, but like I said I made a decision based on what I wanted to do and how I felt, and it’s the best decision for me. I can’t really control how you feel, I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m going to continue to live my life, man. Life goes on and I’ve got a short amount of time left to play basketball and I just want to enjoy every single day of it.”

On if he talked to Russell Westbrook... “I talked to him, obviously it’s tough. We were teammates for so long and had a lot of great memories. I’m sure he wasn’t happy about the decision, but he respected it as my friend. And the relationship was great, we had great years and it’s something you’ll never take away from us, but like I said, I wanted a new chapter in my life, I felt it was time for it and I made this decision. I couldn’t consider everybody’s feelings at this point, because it would be hard to. I just tried to focus on me but also realize the relationships I had, I’m sure they won’t be the same, but I still wanted to go out there and leave with some class, some dignity. Hopefully I did, hopefully he understands and I’m sure we’ll talk again. “

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