Los Angeles, July 8: Kevin Durant has officially signed with the Brooklyn Nets and the star has a new number.
The team on Sunday confirmed the news first reported on June 30 but, earlier in the day, Durant announced an unexpected change.
The Nets star has worn number 35 for his entire 12-year NBA career, but he announced that he will don a number seven jersey when he hits the court for Brooklyn.
Durant explained his decision via Instagram on one of his business pages, Thirty Five Ventures.
Durant credited his old number for allowing him to honour someone close to him, travel, gain new experiences and form important bonds, among other things. But he says the change signifies the next chapter in his basketball career.
The 30-year-old forward won back-to-back NBA titles with the Golden State Warriors in 2016-17 and 2017-18 and averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last season.
He got off to a hot start in the playoffs but suffered a calf strain against the Houston Rockets in the second round. Durant would not play again until Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, when he ruptured his Achilles.
OFFICIAL: We have acquired 10x All-Star and 2x NBA champion Kevin Durant!July 8, 2019
Durant declined his player option with Golden State to team up with his close friends Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan in Brooklyn and is expected to miss most, if not all, of 2019-20. However, once he does return, he could make the team a serious contender in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets posted a 42-40 record in 2018-19 and were eliminated from the postseason by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, but their new-found star power could drive a surge to the top in the near future.