Kevin Durant

How Brady influenced Durant's 2016 Warriors free-agency decision

Durant's agent told the story of his client talking to Brady during 2016 free agency

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Kevin Durant's decision to join the Warriors in 2016 NBA free agency didn't happen overnight, and the recruitment efforts from teams across the league were next-level.

Durant and his longtime agent Rich Kleiman were in the Hamptons that summer and received visits from members of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, who took turns trying to persuade Durant to join their respective organizations. When the Heat sent Pat Riley and the Spurs sent Gregg Popovich, the Celtics tried to turn things up a notch and send then-New England Patriots superstar quarterback Tom Brady to the rescue.

But as Kleinman revealed in a recent episode of the "All the Smoke" podcast, the seven-time Super Bowl champion actually encouraged Durant to look the opposite way.

"I remember when the Celtics came, it was the Celtics ownership, and (former Celtics president of basketball operations) Danny Ainge, Jae Crowder and I think Kelly Olynyk was there. But here came Tom Brady. So it was like, 'Alright, s***, they're really trying to level the playing field.'

"So [Brady and Durant] went to take a walk together and later on, KD was like, 'So he told me, bottom line, I should look for the best team, best organization, best chance to win no matter what. I think Brady told me to go to the Warriors.'"

Whatever exactly was said to Durant clearly worked, as the 13-time All-Star signed a two-year, $54.3 million contract with Golden State to join forces with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

While Durant received a lot of backlash for joining an already-stacked team, which just beat his Oklahoma City Thunder team a few months prior, Kleiman said the decision didn't come easy to Durant.

"This was not some easy thing for KD, like, 'Yo, where's the 73-win team?' This s--t was about him really going inside his mind and he relies on the game," Kleiman said. "And he made the decision based on basketball, and it all happened there, and there never really was anyone else because once he went through all of that, it was clear."

In addition to Brady, Curry, Thompson, Green and Iguodala also went to the Hamptons to try and lure Durant to the Bay. Collectively, those efforts proved to be effective.

After Durant made the move, he and the Warriors made three consecutive NBA Finals appearances and won two championships together.

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