'Durant's 35 retired while I own Warriors,' says team exec
SAN FRANCISCO, USA – Golden State Warriors co-chairman and chief executive Joe Lacob said that as long as he runs the NBA club, consider departing star Kevin Durant's number 35 jersey retired.
The 30-year-old forward agreed to a free agent deal with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, June 30, joining Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan in blockbuster dealmaking moves to make the New York club a title contender once Durant recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Durant won two NBA titles in his first two seasons with Golden State in 2017 and 2018 and helped get the Warriors into last month's NBA Finals, where they lost to the Toronto Raptors.
Durant missed 9 games in the playoffs with a calf injury then played only 12 minutes in Game 5 of the NBA Finals before rupturing his right Achilles tendon, an injury that required surgery and is expected to sideline him for the entire 2019-20 season.
"[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," Lacob said in a statement.
"As long as I'm co-chairman of this team, no player will ever wear number 35 for the Warriors again."
That should effectively mean Durant's number will be retired long-term by the club, with Lacob's team moving to a new $1 billion home arena in San Francisco next season.
"Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival of Kevin Durant, a transformative NBA player and one of the best to ever play the game," Lacob said.
"He provided our fans and franchise with numerous highlights during his stay here – two NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs, three trips to the Finals, unparalleled efficiency – and carried himself with class and dignity both on and off the court."
Lacob also cited Durant winning the NBA's annual Community Assist Award last year for philanthropic efforts. – Rappler.com