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Warriors owner clarifies plan to retire Kevin Durant’s jersey

The Golden State Warriors surprisingly announced earlier this offseason that the organization intends to retire Kevin Durant’s jersey, and owner Joe Lacob has sought to clarify how the team will go about doing so.

Beyond the arguably surprising timing — the Warriors elected to announce plans to retire Durant’s jersey immediately after the superstar spurned the team to sign with the Brooklyn Nets — the planned jersey retirement also presented some logistical issues.

Lacob addressed some of those concerns this week, indicating that the jersey for the two-time NBA Finals MVP will not be hanging in the rafters of the sparkling-new Chase Center anytime soon.

“The intention is to retire his number, but we specifically said it that way, for now,” Lacob told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami during an appearance on “The TK Show” podcast, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “Because he’s still playing, it’s kind of inappropriate to some extent to say you’re gonna retire his number when he’s still playing in the league, but that’s the intention.”

Another key departure beyond Durant from the group that led the Warriors’ recent dynastic run is Andre Iguodala, who the team traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in July. Lacob said the plans for the eventual retirement of Iguodala’s jersey are the same as what the team intends to do about Durant.

“We always wanna be gracious. I’ve said all along, he and any player like Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, whoever it is, a free agent, it’s their choice. They earned it,” Lacob said. “They have the right to make the choice they want to make.”

There’s no disputing how integral Iguodala was in the Warriors winning three titles in four years, as is the case with Durant’s contributions to the team’s two most recent titles. The notion that the Warriors organization would want to honor the two players with jersey retirements makes sense, despite their recent departures.