A seismic event happened on July 4th when Oklahoma City Thunder superstar and former league MVP Kevin Durant declared his personal independence by exercising his right as a free agent to sign with the Golden State Warriors.  The response across the NBA was swift and incredibly vocal.

But the question on everyone’s mind was why would a beloved, iconic superstar in the only city he has ever played and whose team were the favorites to win the 2016-2017 championship leave?  As we analyze Sam Amick’s July 4th USA Today article, the answer is simple – LEADERSHIP.

As I read Amick’s thoughts, I gleaned 12 Reasons The Golden State Warriors Got Kevin Durant.  So if your church or organization learns these same lessons, you too may position yourself to hire the top talent in your profession.

  1. Kevin Durant Values Accomplishment – Top performers do not confuse activity with accomplishment.  Durant wants to win titles and Golden State offered him the best opportunity.
  2. Kevin Durant Wants To Maximize His Personal Potential – He wants to be the best player he can be and once again, Durant felt Golden State offered him the best opportunity.
  3. The Warriors Are A Great Place To Work – To get top talent you must be a great place to work.  Durant had been watching the Warriors for quite awhile.  Whether you realize it or not, top talent is watching your organization right now.
  4. The Warriors Make Things Easier For Top Performers.  The Warriors Remove Barriers For Top Performers. – The style of play employed by head coach Steve Kerr provides more freedom than the Thunder’s isolation style.  Top performers become increasingly frustrated by bureaucracy.
  5. The Warriors Hire Good People With Great Character Because Relationships Matter – Top performers have little to no tolerance for dysfunction or poor character.  Durant has built strong relationships with several Warriors players, specifically Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala.  In fact, the relationship between the three was deepened during chapel services at the 2010 FIBA World Championships.
  6. Kings Talk To Kings – The Warriors dispatched NBA legend and team consultant Jerry West to talk with Durant.  His call to Durant is being credited with making the real difference.
  7. The Warriors Assigned Skill To Task – You must send the right person to do a specific job.  The Warriors selected West for several reasons, including the fact he secured the 1996 deal with Shaquille O’Neal for the Los Angeles Lakers.
  8. Top Talent Is Attracted To Top Talent.  Simply Put, The Best Want To Work With The Best. – After West met with Durant, four of the team’s top players (Curry, Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green) met privately with him as well.  When four current or former all-stars walk in a room and say, “Play with us”, that is hard to turn down.
  9. The Warriors Knew Money Was Not What Mattered Most To Durant – The “why” matters to top performers.  Because of his 2014 10-year, $300 million deal with Nike, Durant was already financially secure.
  10. The Warriors Discovered And Talked About What Did Matter Most To Durant – The secure top talent, you must know what they laugh about, cry about, and dream about.  Ironically, West never talked to Durant about signing with the Warriors.  He talked with him about “what was best for his growth and happiness as a player.”
  11. The Warriors Were Sensitive To Durant’s Brand And Reputation – Great organizations help build the personal brands of their top talent.  The team cared deeply that Durant did not want to be viewed as a villain.
  12. Great Leaders Want To Work For Great Leaders – In addition to his dealing with West and the team’s top players, Durant will be reunited with Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams.  Durant developed a lasting friendship with Adams while he was the Thunder’s defensive coach from 2008-10.

These are 12 reported reasons Durant signed with the Warriors.  If you understand the team’s approach is securing Durant’s services, you too may attract the best talent available.

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