LeBron James says there are multiple factors that will determine whether he ends up playing at the Olympic Games this year.

The Los Angeles Lakers star is one of 44 finalists for a place in the United States men's basketball team and he acknowledged his "name is in the hat".

By early June, that group will be cut down to a final 12 to play at the Olympics in Tokyo and, should he feature, James will join Carmelo Anthony as the second player to represent Team USA at four separate Games.

The 12-team basketball event will run from July 25 until August 9 and James is unsure over his participation at this stage of the NBA season.

But he was thrilled to see five Lakers players make the initial group, with Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard and Javale McGee also included.

"Spectacular, it's amazing," said the 35-year-old. 

"We're very well represented with the Lake Show representing the red, white and blue. So it's a pretty cool thing."

On his participation, James added: "It's always predicated on: one, my body, how my body is feeling at the end of the season – I hope to make a long playoff run.

"And then where my mind is and then where my family's head is. So it's a lot of factors, but my name is in the hat."

James was speaking after the Lakers cruised to a 125-100 home win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday, a fourth win from five games moving them to 40-12 for the season.

Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo impressed from the bench with 23 points as Howard added 14 points and 15 rebounds.

James, meanwhile, narrowly missed a triple-double with 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as the Lakers reached 40 wins before the All-Star break for the first time in nine years.

"It was a great game for our bench," said James.

"Rajon had great pace all night and he was taking all the looks he was getting. Dwight controlled the glass."

Suns coach Monty Williams added: "We dared Rondo to shoot from the perimeter and he made us pay."

LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were among the 44 finalists for a place in the United States men's basketball team for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Three-time Olympic medallist James and nine of the players from the successful 2016 campaign in Rio were included on the list announced by USA Basketball on Monday.

Should the Los Angeles Lakers star make the final 12-man roster, he will join Carmelo Anthony as the second player to represent Team USA at four separate Games.

Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson won gold in Brazil four years ago and have made the cut despite being yet to play a minute in the NBA this season due to respective Achilles and knee injuries.

Curry was named despite being sidelined since October with a broken left hand.

All 12 members of the USA's 2019 FIBA World Cup team remain in the running, with 21 NBA franchises represented in the 44-man list.

Head coach Gregg Popovich said: "I'm looking forward to coaching the U.S. Olympic Team, and I'm excited about the potential and possibilities this team has.

"Anyone who follows international basketball knows there are many really good players from all around the world, and therefore there are many excellent national teams.

"International basketball has improved so much from the days of the 'Dream Team'. The Olympics in 2020 will be a true competition, and there are many teams that will have a legitimate shot at capturing gold."

 

Finalists for the USA's Tokyo 2020 team:

Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs), Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat), Mike Conley (Utah Jazz), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs), Andre Drummond (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), James Harden (Houston Rockets), Montrezl Harrell (Los Angeles Clippers), Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets), Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers), Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics), Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), JaVale McGee (Los Angeles Lakers), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).

Kevin Durant feels nothing will ever be big enough to honour Kobe Bryant and his impact on basketball and the wider world.

Los Angeles Lakers legend Bryant was killed, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others, in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. 

Tributes have poured in for the five-time NBA champion, who won the league MVP in 2008 and was named Finals MVP on two occasions in a glittering career that featured 18 All-Star berths.

NBA teams across the league have taken eight and 24-second violations – Bryant wore each of those numbers during his career – as a mark of respect. 

In Minnesota's game with the Sacramento Kings on Monday, Timberwolves star Andrew Wiggins placed the ball at the spot in the Target Center where Bryant surpassed Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list.

However, Brooklyn Nets forward Durant, MVP in 2014 with the Oklahoma City Thunder and a two-time Finals MVP with the Golden State Warriors, is unsure any gesture can do justice to Bryant.

He told reporters: "It's so hard to say right now [how to honour Bryant]. Just every basketball player go out and play as hard as they can to honour Kobe, I think that'd do.

"I tried to think about what I would say, what I would write, nothing was big enough and that's what I feel about everything when it comes to Kobe Bryant, his mark he left on the Earth.

"It feels like nothing will ever be big enough to truly honour Kobe Bryant but how we approach every day life, me as a disciple of Kobe who study him, learn from him, I think it's my justice to go out there and try to be the best I can be every single day, not just in basketball, in everything.

"I feel like everyone who loved Kobe is going to take that approach in their lives."

Durant's team-mate Spencer Dinwiddie and the Orlando Magic's Terrence Ross elected to stop wearing the number eight as a mark of respect for Bryant.

The Dallas Mavericks announced on Sunday that they will retire the number 24 jersey in Bryant's honour.

Kevin Durant has admitted his heated exchange with Draymond Green last season was part of the reason he left the Golden State Warriors in free agency.

A verbal altercation broke out between the pair during a game last November when Green grabbed a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers and did not pass to Durant, who was open.

The incident carried over into the locker room, with Green subsequently suspended by the Warriors for one game without pay for conduct "detrimental to the team".

After losing the NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors, Durant left at the end of his contract and signed for the Brooklyn Nets, although he is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season through injury.

Pressed on the exchange with Green and whether it played into his thinking when deciding his future, Durant told ESPN: "A little bit. Yeah, for sure.

"I mean, if your team-mate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit. We talked about it, but definitely. For sure. I'm not going to lie about it.

"I just felt like I needed a switch. I felt like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head and I felt like it was going to be the end, no matter what - especially for that group.

"Shaun Livingston was retiring, Andre Iguodalo was getting older, our contracts were going to stifle the team and put us in a hole to get other players. It was time for all of us to separate."

Green took blame for the incident last week, acknowledging he was "wrong" and revealing he had to work to rebuild Durant's trust.

"Once I was able to get over my stubbornness and accept the fact that I was wrong, I was able to move on," Green told ESPN. "I lost [Durant's] trust. How do I get that back?

"[It was] not so we can win a championship or we can win some games but [because] I actually loved this guy - like that's really my brother. And so not knowing what's next in our relationship bothered me more."

NBA superstar Kevin Durant confessed he would be interested in finishing his career with Barcelona.

Ten-time All-Star Durant won two NBA championships as part of a dominant Golden State Warriors side, while he was named MVP in 2014 after averaging 32 points per game for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The 31-year-old, who also has two Olympic gold medals to his name, will hope to add further honours when he returns from an Achilles rupture and to team up with Kyrie Irving at the Brooklyn Nets, who he joined in free agency on a reported four-year, $164million deal.

When Durant is finally ready to start winding down, though, he likes the idea of challenging himself in Europe.

"I really want to play overseas my last year. At Barcelona. I would [like to], one of these days," Durant told Serge Ibaka on 'How Hungry Are You?'.

"That's the second-best league in the world and EuroLeague games look fun. But that's just me in the house, on the couch, watching TV, dreaming.

"I don't know for a fact if I'll do it, but it would be cool to experience it."

Footage of Durant making the comments published on Twitter unsurprisingly drew interactions from Barcelona's official account and those belonging to Alex Abrines and Nikola Mirotic.

Kevin Durant thinks the New York Knicks are not "the cool thing right now", which is why they have struggled to land big names in free agency.

Ten-time NBA All-Star Durant was long touted as a potential target for the Knicks, along with Kyrie Irving, and became an unrestricted free agent after declining his player option with the Golden State Warriors.

However, the 2014 MVP – who sustained an Achilles tear in Game 5 of the NBA Finals and is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season – signed a four-year, $164million contract with the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant will team up with Irving at Barclays Center, while Kawhi Leonard plumped for the Los Angeles Clippers as the Knicks came up empty-handed.

Explaining his decision in an interview with Hot 97 in New York, Durant said: "I think a lot of fans look at the Knicks as a brand and expect these younger players — who in their lifetime don't remember the Knicks being good — [to look at it the same way].

"I didn't grow up with the Knicks being good. Well, I remember the Knicks being in the Finals, but the kids after me didn't see that. So, the brand of the Knicks to them isn't as cool to them as, let's say, the Golden State Warriors or even the Lakers or the Nets now.

"The cool thing right now is not the Knicks."

Durant admitted he "thought about" signing with the Knicks, but never seriously considered it.

"It's just a thought," he added. "I didn't really do any full analysis on the Knicks.

"Basketball is the most important thing for me, so playing with Kyrie, DeAndre Jordan, the young players they've [the Nets] got, was key.

"Playing with Golden State, playing with an older group, I thought it was time for me to kind of impose my will on a younger group.

"I just wanted to be around a nice group of young players and also a good mix of vets."

Draymond Green said there is a lack of familiarity at the Golden State Warriors as the NBA Finals runners-up work on their chemistry following roster changes.

It has been a busy offseason for the Warriors after going down to the Toronto Raptors in the Finals, losing All-Star Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets via free agency.

Veterans Andre Iguodala (traded to the Memphis Grizzlies) and Shaun Livingston (retired) also departed as the Warriors acquired D'Angelo Russell and a number of young recruits.

With the Warriors eyeing a sixth successive trip to the Finals, star Green spoke to reporters after Friday's practice and said: "A lot different. But it's fun, though.

"Just the lack of familiarity. You get used to a certain thing for so long, and then it's not that. The normal reads that you would make, just kind of second nature, you got to make sure they're there.

"It's just a lot more making sure everyone's on the same page, or getting there. Everybody's not on the same page, which is to be expected, so just getting everybody there is the difference."

Green, who will lead the way alongside Stephen Curry as Klay Thompson recovers from a serious knee injury, added: "It's time. It's reps. Just kind of getting those reps. Figuring guys out, getting to know each other. That's a huge part of basketball, too, getting to know each other ... That will come with time.

"It's no tough love right now. You figure that stuff out as time goes on. But none of us really know each other, except a few. So you can't give a guy you don't know tough love, that's fake as hell. If you're going to give somebody tough love, you don't even know if you love that person or not yet. So you can't give somebody tough love at this point, you just got to teach 'em."

The Warriors will open their preseason against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.

Golden State will get their first taste of Chase Center in San Francisco, after saying goodbye to Oracle Arena following 47 years in Oakland.

Asked about Golden State's new home, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said: "I think mainly the noise. It's hard to judge on a preseason game, but it feels like they did a really good job keeping the seats as close to the floor as possible.

"Some of the new arenas feel so vacuous, and this feels pretty intimate. I think we're going to have a really loud atmosphere in here, but we'll see."

Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti refuted any negative sentiment towards former star Kevin Durant.

Presti addressed Durant's criticism of how bad the split was when it comes to the Thunder's fan base – the two-time NBA champion left Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Durant went as far as saying he did not trust anyone at the Thunder and "that s*** must have been fake". 

The two-time NBA Finals MVP called out the franchise and Presti saying, "I ain't talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left".

However, Thunder GM Presti told reporters: "If there is anything that Kevin Durant ever, ever needed from me or from anyone here, it would be a moment's notice for that to happen.

"I also think if you work with people for eight years like we did, he and I — he was 19 when he came into the NBA, I was 29. We both went through a lot of changes together, and I have nothing but positive things to say about him and his tenure here.

"You've asked me that in the past. You've asked me that today. You can ask me that in the future if something like this comes up again. I'm never going to change that tune because that's how I feel."

Durant spent nine seasons with the Thunder before becoming a free agent and signing with the Warriors.

The 10-time All-Star ended up playing three seasons with the Warriors, earning back-to-back NBA titles, but signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency over the offseason. He is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season with a torn Achilles.

"I would always be there if he needed anything from me, and I truthfully believe ... it would be reciprocated, as well," Presti added.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr explained why he was not surprised superstar Kevin Durant left the team to join the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant – who is expected to miss the upcoming NBA campaign due to an Achilles injury – signed a four-year, $164million deal with the Nets in the offseason after opting to become a free agent.

When asked about Durant's departure, Kerr said he could see it coming as he thought the Warriors' dominant line-up and team chemistry had seemingly "run its course".

"I don't know why," Kerr told "The Full 48" podcast. "I do think we're in a different era where players are more interested by new challenges ... players see that there's a huge expanse out there; there's this horizon with so many different opportunities. And so you're just gonna have fewer teams that stick together for a long period of time.

"And that's just kind of how it felt this year for us. This thing has a finite ending point and this is probably it."

Some speculated that the verbal confrontation between Durant and Draymond Green on November 12 was part of the reason the two-time NBA Finals MVP left, but Kerr refuted that theory. 

"We kind of lost some momentum internally. It wasn't anything tangible," Kerr explained. "People point to the Draymond-Kevin incident. I honestly don't think that was that big of a deal, as crazy as that sounds." 

As for whether there was anything the Warriors could do to keep the 10-time All-Star? Kerr said, "Probably not. ... this thing was running its course and we kind of felt like he was moving on."

Durant, a two-time NBA champion, averaged 25.8 points per game with 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists during his three seasons with the Warriors.

Kevin Durant is not expected to play for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019-20 season, general manager Sean Marks confirmed.

Ten-time All-Star Durant tore his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in June, with the Golden State Warriors beaten to the championship by the Toronto Raptors.

Despite knowing the 2014 MVP would likely require nine to 12 months of rehabilitation, the Nets signed him to a four-year, $164million deal in free agency.

It had been reported this week that Durant could return in March, but Marks denied that will be the case.

"His rehab is going very well," Marks said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"The expectations are that he will be out for the year. We're not going to plan on playing [him].

"His rehab obviously will be predetermined over the course of the next few months ... ultimately, Kevin will have a large say in when he comes back and how he's feeling."

While Durant recovers, the team will be led by Kyrie Irving, who also joined the team in the offseason from the Boston Celtics.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr was not offended by Kevin Durant's recent criticism of their offense, describing his comments as "basically the truth".

Durant, who won two NBA titles with the Warriors but joined the Brooklyn Nets in July, told The Wall Street Journal this month that he did not believe Golden State's offense worked well in the playoffs.

"The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point," Durant said. "We can totally rely on our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we're going to have to mix in individual play. We've got to throw teams off, because they're smarter in that round of playoffs.

"So now I have to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create points for me."

Asked about Durant's comments, Kerr told The Athletic: "I wasn't at all offended what Kevin said because it's basically the truth. You look at any system, I mean, I played the triangle with Michael Jordan.

“The offense ran a lot smoother all regular season and the first couple rounds of the playoffs than it did in the conference finals and Finals. It just did.

"That's why guys like Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are who they are. They can transcend any defense. But defenses in the playoffs, deep in the playoffs, combined with the physicality of the game - where refs can't possibly call a foul every time - means that superstars have to take over.

"No system is just going to dice a Finals defense up. You have to rely on individual play. I didn't look at [his comment] as offensive. I look at that as fact."

Warriors star Stephen Curry last week gave Durant's comments short shrift.

"Well, I don't care what plays we ran. We won two championships," Curry said. "And, at the end of the day, we had a lot of talent and there was an expectation of us figuring out how to balance all that. And we talked a lot about it throughout the three-year run. It wasn't always perfect, but I think in terms of the results and what we were able to do on the floor, that kind of speaks for itself.

"We all want to play iso-ball at the end of the day in some way, shape or form. But I'd rather have some championships, too."

Durant, a 10-time All-Star, averaged 25.8 points per game with 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists during his three seasons with the Warriors. He signed with the Nets on a four-year, $164 million deal.

Kevin Durant said he hates the "circus" surrounding the NBA as he opened up on his respective exits from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors.

Durant ended a three-season stint with the Warriors at the end of the last campaign, switching to the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent on a four-year deal.

The 30-year-old, a 10-time All-Star, joined Golden State from the Thunder, where he spent nine campaigns – including one as a rookie at the Seattle SuperSonics before the franchise's move to Oklahoma – going on to win the championship with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

However, Durant believes the media speculation and fan furore around the NBA made his decision to leave the Warriors more acrimonious than it needed to be.

"It didn't feel as great as it could have been," Durant told the Wall Street Journal. "Some days I hate the circus of the NBA. Some days I hate that the players let the NBA business, the fame that comes with the business, alter their minds about the game.

"Sometimes I don't like being around the executives and politics that come with it. I hate that.

"We talk about mental health a lot... we only talk about it when it comes to players. We need to talk about it when it comes to executives, media, fans."

Durant believes a similar uproar surrounded his move to the Warriors in 2016, claiming he does not trust the Thunder's hierarchy. 

"I'll never be attached to that city again because of that," Durant said of Oklahoma City.

"I eventually wanted to come back to that city and be part of that community and organisation, but I don't trust nobody there. 

"The organisation, the [general manager], I ain't talked to none of those people, even had a nice exchange with those people, since I left.

"People coming to my house and spray-painting on the for-sale signs around my neighbourhood. People making videos in front of my house and burning my jerseys and calling me all types of crazy names."

Durant also explained that he left Golden State because he could not relate to many of his team-mates.

"As time went on, I started to realise I'm just different from the rest of the guys," Durant said. 

"It's not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So it's like nobody could [fully accept] me there."

Kevin Durant has set the record straight about whether the Golden State Warriors pressured him to return from injury and play against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals.

The now-Brooklyn Nets star opened up about the events leading up to the ruptured Achilles he suffered in the first half of Game 5.

According to him, Golden State's staff do not deserve the blame.

"Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no," Durant told Yahoo Sports. "I heard the Warriors pressured me into getting back. Nobody never said a word to me during rehab as I was coming back.

"It was only me and [director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] working out every day. Right when the series started, I targeted Game 5. Hell, nah. It just happened. It's basketball. S*** happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that s*** because I'm going to be back playing."

Durant had strained his calf in a second-round series against the Houston Rockets and missed the team's sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.

When Durant finally stepped back on the court in the championship series, he torched Toronto for 11 points in 12 minutes before suffering the possible career-altering injury.

Durant said he is focused on moving forward and making a comeback.

"Yeah, I still think about that night," Durant said. "Every experience I've been through in the league is obviously always ingrained in my mind, but that one is definitely always going to be a huge part of my career because it's the biggest stage and the type of injury I had.

"But now I look at it as me just going out there playing basketball, and I happened to get hurt. And now I'm just waiting to get back. I know it's a huge deal to everybody else, but I just try to take it on the chin and keep it moving."

Durant will play alongside his close friends Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan in Brooklyn. When Durant was asked why he joined a team that finished 2018-19 with a 42-40 record and was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, he kept his answer short and sweet.

"Because I wanted to," Durant said. "The basketball was appealing."

Durant averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists for the Warriors last season and was named Finals MVP twice in his three years with the team.

While he will likely miss all of 2019-20, it appears like he is content with his new team.

"If I was leaving the Warriors, it was always going to be for the Nets," Durant said. "They got the pieces and a creative front office. I just like what they were building."

Kevin Durant swapped the Golden State Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets because he loves the "system", according to general manager Sean Marks.

Durant joined the Nets via free agency after winning two championships and two NBA Finals MVPS with the Warriors.

Recovering from an Achilles injury sustained in the Finals defeat to the Toronto Raptors, Durant thought highly of Brooklyn and their style of play, which is one of the reasons he chose the Nets over other suitors in free agency.

Marks told WFAN on Tuesday that in his first conversation with Durant after the announcement, the star said: "I love the system. I love how you guys play. I see how hard you guys play ... you were never out of games. We could never take you guys lightly."

Marks stood by the fact he did not know Durant's choice to join the Nets until he announced it on Instagram just a few minutes after free agency began on June 30. 

"What we knew was we were either getting a teleconference call with Kevin that night or we were going to potentially get a meeting," Marks said.

"We'd seen some media reports earlier in the day that Kevin had crossed several teams off his list and we were still one of them [being considered]. And those reports were there for everybody to read. And when Kevin posted it on The Boardroom Instagram site, that was news to all of us in the office."

Marks remains excited about the addition of Durant, despite him recovering from an injury that will likely have him sidelined for the upcoming season. Brooklyn also signed Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan.

Irving joined Durant after he opted out of his deal with the Boston Celtics following a number of reports surfaced about the turmoil he faced at TD Garden.

"I'm not going to lie, there's been a couple of times I'm definitely excited about — Kevin for sure, the whole group and really the challenge of getting all these guys together on the same page and watching how it unfolds," Marks said.

"I think that's the magic and that's the real special piece where you see elite talent ... want to play together and see who's going to sacrifice what and who's going to bring what to the table and just see how they all mesh."

Kevin Durant "wanted to try something different" after leaving for the Brooklyn Nets, according to Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers.

Durant ended his three-year association with the Warriors after two NBA titles, signing with the Nets via free agency this offseason.

Myers was asked about Durant's decision to leave the Bay Area when he met with reporters on Monday.

"The one thing I'd share is, he just felt like, it was something inside of him, in his heart, that he wanted to try something different," Myers said.

"Nothing wrong with that. I'm at peace about it, personally, I hope our fans are, too. He was one of the best athletes to come through our city, certainly this organisation."

Durant won two titles and two Finals MVPs during his time with the Warriors. He averaged 26.0 points and 6.4 rebounds last season but ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

The 10-time All-Star is expected to miss most, if not all, of 2019-20.

"I just appreciate [him]," Myers said. "Growing up here, the fact that Kevin Durant wore a Warriors uniform for three years, to me, that's pretty cool, whether I'm here in the position I'm in, or just a Warriors fan. I think for him, it was just a new chapter."

Warriors co-chairman and CEO Joe Lacob announced earlier this month the team were effectively retiring Durant's jersey.

"Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival of Kevin Durant," Lacob said in a statement. "He provided our fans and franchise with numerous highlights during his stay here ... and carried himself with class and dignity both on and off the court.

"As he starts a new chapter in his incredible career, we thank KD for all of his contributions, for being an integral part to one of the most prolific runs in NBA history and wish him well as he continues his Hall of Fame journey. As long as I am co-chairman of this team, no player will ever wear No. 35 for the Warriors again."

Kyrie Irving left the Boston Celtics and joined Durant at the Nets this offseason, while the Warriors signed D'Angelo Russell.

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