I am retiring from the NBA to become Bill Simmons’ permanent podcast co-host

This past summer has been incredibly difficult for me as a player and as a man. It began with the rush of emotions that came with finally being able to call myself an NBA champion. Knowing that I had reached the pinnacle of my chosen craft brought a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that I had not thought possible; and yet, something was missing.

Over the course of the past year, I have spent several different occasions and countless hours recording podcasts with Bill Simmons – in back rooms of restaurants, in studios and in my own house. If it’s a building located within the state lines of California, there’s a 14% chance that Bill and I have recorded a podcast there.

My year with the Warriors allowed me to develop as a player and as a businessman in ways that I will be eternally grateful for, but after spending so much time with Bill and having every single one of my thoughts indulged, I realized podcasting was where I belong.

I will miss the Bay Area and the NBA as a whole, but basketball just no longer gives me the same rush that I get when I can pressure Bill into backpedaling on one of his opinions almost instantly. It is akin to the feeling that I used to get when tricking an opposing player into biting on one of my pump fakes.

With this decision, I know that I am upsetting many people within the Warriors organization and across the country, but I felt that I needed to choose the path that allowed me to grow the most as a human being. In many ways, I feel as though I am taking the hardest road. While guarding LeBron James in a playoff series can be a difficult task, the podcast marketplace is quite saturated and it can be very challenging to stand out and maintain your audience.

Looking ahead, I am excited for what I can bring to The Ringer Podcast Network and for what this means for me and my family. I hope to come into my own as a podcaster within the coming months and possibly experience the joy of bringing a Webby™ to The Ringer.

Kevin Durant