Monday, August 20, 2018
Sports

KD makes his Splash

OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant wanted to look MVP Stephen Curry in the eye, meet Curry's fellow "Splash Brother" Klay Thompson face to face, and find out for himself whether they truly wanted him as a teammate.

The All-Star shooting tandem made it clear during a meeting last weekend that he would be a perfect fit with the Warriors.

"When I met these guys, I felt as comfortable as I've ever felt. It was organic, it was authentic, it was real," Durant said. "It was feelings I couldn't ignore."

The Warriors formally announced the signing of the seven-time All-Star and four-time scoring champion on Thursday and introduced him with fanfare during a news conference at the team's downtown practice facility.

So, what's next? Seventy-four wins and a title? Golden State's record-setting season with the best wins total ever of 73 ended without back-to-back titles.

"I haven't made the decision yet, but he might start," coach Steve Kerr joked, sitting next to a smiling Durant. "We lost in the Finals. We want to get better. We want to be better. You can't do any better than adding KD to the current crew."

Durant might be able to match his coach's wit, too.

When asked about Thompson being part of the pitch meeting, Durant quipped about receiving a text message from him: "I didn't know he had a phone."

Durant said he went to bed Sunday "torn" and still uncertain about his choice, and he told his father and representatives he needed a night to sleep on it. Then he woke up first thing Monday with more clarity.

He knew it would have been "easy to go back to something you're comfortable with." This, he said, is the harder route — "It was time for me to try something new, try a new challenge. No better place to do it than here."

Durant said ex-teammate Russell Westbrook took it hard: "That call to Oklahoma City was the hardest thing I've had to do in my life. Tears were shed."

MAGIC MOVES: The Blazers acquired guard Shabazz Napier in a trade with the Magic for cash considerations. In other Magic news, free agent center Bismack Biyombo, forward Jeff Green and D.J. Augustin were signed, and restricted free agent Evan Fournier was re-signed.

BUCKS: Guard Matthew Dellavedova was acquired in a sign-and-trade deal with the Cavaliers. As part of the deal, the team sent the rights to Albert Miralles to the Cavs. Miralles currently plays in the Spanish League.

GRIZZLIES: The team has scheduled a news conference for today that appears to be the signing of former Gator Chandler Parsons, who agreed to a four-year, $94 million deal, the Associated Press reported. The agreement is part of a spending spree by the club that also included a five-year max contract worth $153 million for guard Mike Conley.

LAKERS: The team signed veteran Luol Deng and second-round pick Ivica Zubac, along with re-signing guard Jordan Clarkson, and confirmed the acquisition of guard Jose Calderon and two second-round picks from the Bulls in exchange for the rights to forward Ater Majok.

MAVS: The team will get the rights to Croatian center Stanko Barac from the Pacers in the salary-dump deal that sent seldom-used forward Jeremy Evans to the Pacers. The club also completed a trade with the Warriors for center Andrew Bogut.

SPURS: Guard Manu Ginobili tweeted that he is returning for his 15th season thanks to a one-year deal.

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