The dust is still settling in the wake of Kevin Durant's departure from Golden State. He's a Brooklyn Net now. A Warrior no more.
It's been an emotional, trying 24 hours for the franchise, no doubt, but now a day removed from the insanity that was the first day of NBA free agency, the Warriors have been able to reflect on what Durant meant to the team, franchise, and greater Bay Area.
On Tuesday, Warriors co-chairman and CEO Joe Lacob issued a statement doing exactly that.
"Three years ago, we were thrilled with the arrival of Kevin Durant, a transformative NBA player and one fo 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."
Statement from Warriors Co-Chairman & CEO Joe Lacob on Kevin Durant: pic.twitter.com/D2TPPZPuz1— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) July 1, 2019
Of particular note was Lacob's closing sentence: "As long as I am Co-Chairman of this team, no player will ever wear #35 for the Warriors again."
That sure would seem to suggest that Durant's No. 35 will essentially be retired -- even if unofficially -- for as long as Lacob remains at the head of the franchise.
Lacob surely would have preferred for Durant to stay in Golden State. But in this way, the memory of Durant's contributions to the most successful era in franchise history can be preserved for years to come.
It's the right thing to do.