|07.04.16 at 11:46 am ET|
Kevin Durant is not coming to Boston.
Despite the Celtics’ best effort, even sending Tom Brady to the Hamptons to meet with him, Durant announced on the Players’ Tribune Monday morning that he will sign with the Warriors.
Here is what he wrote: This has been by far the most challenging few weeks in my professional life. I understood cognitively that I was facing a crossroads in my evolution as a player and as a man, and that it came with exceptionally difficult choices. What I didn’t truly understand, however, was the range of emotions I would feel during this process.
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.
I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me.
|07.04.16 at 7:32 am ET|
According to a report from Oklahoma City-based ESPN.com NBA writer Royce Young, Kevin Durant is deciding between the Thunder and Warriors, which would mean the Celtics’ efforts to land the marquee free agent have fallen short.
Young tweeted Sunday night: From what I understand, it’s Thunder versus Warriors for Durant.
That apparently did not sit well with Celtics followers eager to see Durant head to Boston. Tweeted Young early Monday morning: Celtics fans went to my Instagram and spent the night making fun of my wife and kids. Really awesome you guys.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Monday morning that the Celtics “still believe that they’re in this.”
Durant is expected to make his decision Monday, apparently via a write-up in The Players’ Tribune. The Thunder reportedly made a final push in a meeting in the Hamptons early Sunday evening.
|07.03.16 at 5:44 pm ET|
Tom Brady, David Ortiz and now Julian Edelman.
The Patriots wide receiver was the latest Boston sports star to try and urge Kevin Durant to sign with the Celtics as he tweeted a picture wearing a No. 35 jersey with the caption: From the fans, to the history, to the amazing city itself, Boston is best place to play hands down @kdtrey5 🍀35🍀
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) July 3, 2016
|07.03.16 at 10:18 am ET|
And then there were five.
Free agent forward Kevin Durant, the best player on the market by a country mile, has informed the Los Angeles Clippers he won’t be signing with them, per Ben Bolch of the LA Times:
Seems obvious by now but Clippers have been told that Kevin Durant will not be joining them.
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) July 3, 2016
That leaves the Celtics as one of five finalists for Durant’s services, and perhaps the greatest threat to entice him to leave Oklahoma City, though the Thunder remain overwhelming favorites to retain him.
The Celtics pulled out all the stops in the Hamptons to wow Durant during their visit, flying in Tom Brady of the Patriots to help with their pitch. Red Sox slugger David Ortiz also tweeted his support.
The team’s best move in the negotiation, however, came right after their visit finished, when free agent Al Horford, a close friend of Durant, agreed to a four-year, $113 million contract.
With the Clippers out of consideration, Durant’s choice has been narrowed to the Thunder, Celtics, Warriors, Spurs, and Heat.
|07.03.16 at 9:46 am ET|
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Kevin Durant told the teams he is meeting with in The Hamptons this weekend that his decision on which team he will sign with will come by Monday.
Additionally, according to the L.A. Times, the Clippers have been informed it won’t be with them.
This means the Celtics still at least have a chance at the superstar, which got even more intriguing on Saturday when the team signed Al Horford, especially after it was learned Durant tried to recruit Horford to come to Oklahoma City.
The Celtics met with Durant on Saturday and brought along Tom Brady, who reportedly make a strong pitch.
For more Celtics news, visit weei.com/celtics.
|07.03.16 at 8:54 am ET|
He did his part.
According to multiple reports, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady left a positive impression on Kevin Durant during his participation in the meeting with the free agent forward Saturday.
Brady active in the Durant meeting. Said someone privy to meeting: "Tom told him what it's like to play in Boston, how special it is."
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) July 2, 2016
Source on Brady visit with Durant: "Tom did a very good job today."
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) July 3, 2016
Joining Brady in the meeting was co-owner Steve Pagliuca, president Danny Ainge and Celtics players Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk. Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder were also expected to be attendance.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz also tried to do his part.
Yo @KDTrey5 sorry I couldn't make the meeting today but Brady will tell u they don't call Boston the City of Champions for nothing 🏆🏆🏆
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) July 2, 2016
|07.02.16 at 10:36 pm ET|
James Young is determined to make this summer different.
The 17th overall pick of the Celtics in the 2014 NBA draft has been slowed by injuries in his first two offseasons, as he has tried to make the right impression on Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge in summer league action.
Still just 20 years old, Young is starting to feel a little urgency to make a name for himself as the team has drafted the likes of Jaylen Brown, Demetrius Jackson, Ben Bentil and Guerschon Yabusele. All four of those players will join Young on the Celtics’ 2016 summer league squad, which begins action Monday in Salt Lake City against the Sixers.
Remarkably, Young is the only player on the 14-player roster who will be playing his third straight summer league for the Celtics.
“I barely played the first two I was here both years so why not come back for a third and play a full? So that’s why I’m here just to do, just go out there and play basketball,” Young said Friday. “I’ve just been working on my overall game. Nothing specific, just everything. And everything’s starting to come together. I’m just ready to go out there and just play strong.”
Last year in summer league, Young averaged just 9.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in five games. He struggled badly from the field, shooting just 27.1 percent from the field and 22.7 percent from beyond the arc. This season, he bounced back and forth between Maine and Boston over 10 times, appearing in three of the Celtics’ six playoff games while averaging 14.8 and 5.6 rebounds in 16 games for the Red Claws.
“The thing about it is you think James has been forever,” said Micah Shrewsberry, who will coach Young and the Celtics summer team in Utah. “Man, he’s still 20 years old. I looked at different rosters the other day. James is still younger than almost everybody on Utah’s roster. He’s a young guy. He’s still learning. He’s been great. We’re trying, with an opportunity like this, for him to be able to use his voice more, something that he doesn’t do during the season when the older guys are doing a lot more talking. He can do that a little bit, he can lead, kind of come out of his shell a little bit. And then get more opportunities to play, show what he can do, have fun with it.”
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