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Kevin Durant announces he's leaving Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts during the second half of Game 7 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Monday, May 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

He's gone.

After meetings with a handful of other teams, Thunder player Kevin Durant announced Monday he's leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors.

Durant led the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012, and to the Western Conference finals in four of the past six years and he's only 27. He recovered from a broken bone in his right foot that cost him much of last season to post one of the best years of his career this season 28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

Details were released on The Players Tribune.

He can't officially sign until July 7.

Kevin Durant decided his best chance for "growth" means leaving his beloved Oklahoma City behind for a big move out West to join the Golden State Warriors to play alongside Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Independence Day, indeed.

The Thunder's biggest challenge, the team that came back from a historic run in the Western Conference Finals this year: the Golden State Warriors.

"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," Durant said in the article. "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."

It makes sense for the Warriors to try to add Durant he averaged 30 points per game against them in this year's Western Conference finals and torched them for a career-high 54 points in 2014.

Durant could make a record-setting franchise even better. Golden State set the NBA record with 73 wins and led the league in scoring. The Warriors fell just short of a repeat NBA title, however, losing to Cleveland in seven games.

But the Warriors will have to move players to make room for Durant.

They will have to make a decision on the future of restricted free agent Harrison Barnes. Center Andrew Bogut, meanwhile, removed all references to the Warriors from his Twitter page and is expected to be traded to clear room for Durant. His Twitter page now features a photo of the 7-footer in an Australia jersey.

Losing Durant to a top rival will sting for the Thunder.

"Kevin's contributions to our organization during his nine years were profound, on and off the court," Thunder Chairman Clayton I. Bennett said in a statement. "He helped the Thunder grow and succeed in immeasurable ways and impacted the community just the same.

"We thank him for his leadership, his play, and how he represented Oklahoma City and the entire state of Oklahoma."

Associated Press writer Clift Brunt and Janie McCauley contributed to this report.

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