I admit, I am one who is looking at the Durant signing with the most cautious optimism.  I guess that’s weird for a “Lunatic Fringe”, but then, I’ve always come to value some of the unpopular things in sports.  Like Chemistry.

2/5ths of the starting lineup is being replaced for one superstar.  An amazing superstar of immense talent, but still.

I won’t lie, my hatred of everything that the Lebron Heat was compels me to this, in some way.  I’m a sports fan, which means 29 out of 30 times (more or less), I’m inclined to hate Superteams with immense passion.  And why not?  Superstar-heavy teams are easy to hate, and to resent.

Has the Bay Area ever had a Superteam?  We have had many great teams.  We have had teams led by superstars.  But was there ever a team made up of superstars?  Perhaps the closest was the 49ers of the late 1980’s, but even then, the superstars were home grown, rather than bought.  The 1994 49ers qualify more along those lines, with many imported superstars, but the singular year of championship even limits that.

Hell, even the Bay Area’s history with genre-defining free agent signings is limited, beyond Barry Bonds.  Even the team’s most successful moves have been ones who overachieved their expectations, rather than came with overexpected achievements.

So, the unfamiliarity with an incoming Kevin Durant-level player may be a part of my apprehension.

That said, there is also the chemistry.

Two words: Mitch Richmond.

When I was first learning basketball, Run TMC was how I first fell in love with the game.  The idea of a team of great players, who play so perfectly with each other, was what I loved, and being able to see it everyday rather than highlights of the Lakers or Bulls, was what I watched.

And then, the search for size.  Mitch Richmond was traded for Billy Owens, a fine fellow for sure, but clearly a disappointment for what was expected.  Then there was the trade for Chris Webber.  I think it’s Webber who bothers me most.  A big man put into a small man’s offense, unhappy, and escaping after one year.  The potential parallels are disturbing, even if Durant is truly a player better suited for the game.

The other side, of course, is Bogut, a needed sacrifice to make room for Durant, financially.

Having been a Warriors fan for the two-plus decades since the Run-TMC days, one characteristic long defined the Warriors: the chase of a good center, and the complete failure of it.

Todd Fuller.  Rony Seikaly.  Erick Dampier.  Adonal Foyal.  Patrick O’Bryant.    Ike Diogu.

Andrew Bogut was the center who changed that.  Even if it didn’t seem so at first, with his injuries.  Bogut was the first true starting-caliber center I can remember the Warriors having.  And he fit the passing team perfectly, as a passer himself and a finisher, but also as a strong force at the rim and away from it.  And though this Warriors team is one built on shooting, Bogut gave them the ability and versatility to have a big man when it was needed or suited them.

And, honestly, I think his loss in Game 5 was one of the bigger factors in the loss in the NBA Finals this year.  Festus Ezeli was a capable backup, but watching him in Game 7 lose battles of strength to Kevin Love on the boards cost the Warriors key possessions.  Bogut is not an elite rebounder, but he is a very competitive one.

Without his presence, the team feels…shorthanded.  Durant is tall, but he’s obviously not a true banger under the rim.  Without him, it’s just a little less versatility the team has.

The Warriors did follow the move with an intriguing signing of Zazu Pachulia, who has shown moments of really strong play, but seemed to wear down in the second half.  For a team expected to return deep into the playoffs, that is not an encouraging sign.

So yes, I’m worried.

Clearly, I love Durant’s game.  And I do think the way he plays fits this team well.  And you’ll notice that I’m not feeling much remorse at Harrison Barnes moving on.  He’s a good player, better than he was at the end of the NBA Finals, but I think he needs a change of scenery…and so do Warriors fans.

But, I’ll say one thing, coming back to Chemistry.

I worried, among other things, that Durant’s free agency decision would rival the media circus and self-serving nature of the Lebron James Decision(s).  Durant made his announcement on the website “The Player’s Tribune”, a website where players can write their thoughts, and one where Durant is listed as the “Deputy Publisher.”  That was certainly a bit humbler than the ESPN special, which was about as big a waste of time as the NBA Lottery show.

However, reading his statement on there is worth doing.  Click here to do so.

Notice something missing?

Outside of naming the Warriors as his destination, he doesn’t talk about them.  He doesn’t lavish praise on the Warriors or his future teammates, he doesn’t talk about championships, he doesn’t even mention excitement.

Instead, the vast majority of the statement is about Oklahoma City, how much he enjoyed the city, is thankful for having been able to play there for so long and how sorry he is that this decision will disappoint them.

Humility is a quality rarely seen in people, and even rarer among pro athletes.  But Durant has shown it throughout his career, and despite the media following him like Lebron, he does not come off as the same kind of personality.

To that end, if there is any superstar that can fit the Warriors chemistry, it’s this player.  The Warriors have been noted for their unselfish play, and unified desire on the goal of a championship, and a true love of the team and the fans.

To that end, I have no trepidation about Durant.  He’s a good player, and a good man.  I certainly hope I’m worried for nothing.