It was one of the most controversial moves, unless you were a fan of the Golden State Warriors. It was a move that not many people were fans of, Kevin Duran moving to the Golden State Warriors. This was the team that left him one win away from beating them and advancing to the NBA Finals when he played with the Thunder. This transit was the most controversial move in the NBA since 2014 offseason where LeBron James moved back to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. This transit was perceived as weak by many NBA players and analysts alike. However, despite all this controversy, if you have been watching Kevin Durant since he first joined the league you would understand why he left the Oklahoman City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors.

The Thunder Dynasty that could have been

After the Oklahoma City Thunder lost in the 2012 NBA Finals in five games to the Miami Heat lead by their big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Many believed that this would be the finals matchup multiple times in the future as the Thunder's core of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden were all under the age of 25 at the time.

However, this was not to be as on the eve of the 2012-13 season the Oklahoma City Thunder traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets as Thunder GM Sam Presti decided to give contact extensions to front court duo Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins instead of Harden. Despite this, the Thunder still managed to win 60 games. However, a season-ending injury to Russell Westbrook meant the Thunder were knocked out in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies.

In the 2013-14 season, the Thunder drafted Steven Adams with the 12th pick in the 2013 draft Adams will go on to become a major rotation piece as the season went on. The Thunder would also sign veterans such as Derek Fisher and Caron Butler to help the Thunder in their chances for another championship run the Thunder however yet again fell short in the Conference Finals losing in six games to the San Antonio Spurs.

The 2014-15 season was disastrous for the Thunder by their standards as both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant both suffered multiple injuries throughout this season, and as a result, the Thunder missed the playoffs. There were also many poor moves made by General Manager Sam Presti as he failed to re-sign key veterans Thabo Sefolosha and Caron Butler while also trading away Reggie Jackson who was becoming a key rotation piece for the Thunder.

The 2015-16 season was the start of Billy Donovans' tenure with the Thunder. The Thunder managed to make the playoffs after missing them the previous season the Thunder managed to make it to their fourth Western Conference Finals appearance in six years, and they were faced up against the defending champions Golden State Warriors. The Thunder managed to go up 3-1 in this series however they ultimately fell short of a trip to the NBA Finals as the Warriors managed to win the last three games to advance to the NBA Finals. After the end of Game Seven, the primary focus on the Thunder was that after falling one game short of a second NBA Finals trip will Durant stay with the Thunder or will he take his talents to another team?

Why Durant signed with the Warriors

On the day of the 2016 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Serge Ibaka. This move must have been the final straw for Durant because on the 4th of July Kevin Durant announced that he would be signing with the Golden State Warriors, a move that shook take up the NBA. However, if you analyse the decision carefully, you would understand why.

If you look at the Thunder and the many good players they had throughout Durant's time (James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams, Reggie Jackson, Caron Butler, Thabo Sefolosha), It is astounding how the Thunder did not manage to capture an NBA Title in this time. After nine years with the Thunder and watching many players leave due to poor General Management by Sam Presti, you could understand why Durant wanted to leave Oklahoma City.

Over the summer of 2016, Durant was recruited by many teams most noticeably the Clippers, Wizards, Celtics and the Spurs. However, one team stood out to him, and it was the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors stood out to Durant as they were a well-run organisation and had made the two previous NBA Finals and like the 2012 Thunder, their core of Curry, Thompson, and Green were all under 30, so there were many trips to the NBA Finals to come.

Due to the genius of GM Bob Myers, the Warriors were led by Steph Curry who is the two-time reigning MVP, and Klay Thompson who is considered one of the best shooters ever to play the Game. The Warriors also had another Olympian and All-star player in Draymond Green who for the past few seasons have been one of the favourites for the Defensive Player of the Year Award.

So the reason Durant joined these Warriors was not that he wanted to be carried to a championship, it was because after multiple years of poor General Management decisions were making the Thunder lose multiple key pieces over time. Durant looked at the well run organisation in Golden State and realised that this is what the Thunder should have been doing all along, Kevin Durant was joining on what the Thunder should have been like ever since the 2011-12 NBA season.

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