"He doesn't have to fit in with us," Andre Iguodala said. "We have to fit in with him."
Durant's ability is that transcendent. He's been so assertive in scrimmages that he stands out even on a court that has three other members of last season's All-Star team and the back-to-back Most Valuable Player.
"He dominates play when he's on the floor," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "He's a dominant offensive player, which is a great thing."
So Durant has already plopped down on the Warriors' couch and put his feet on the living room table. And he just got clearance to head to the refrigerator and grab a beer.
"I shot a lot today, and Draymond [Green] told me I wasn't aggressive enough," Durant said. "That's great for me. He's basically telling me to shoot more. Everybody's trying to make me feel comfortable."
It's significant that Green has signed off on this. He might end up being the starter whose offensive touches are most affected by Durant's arrival. Last season Green averaged 82 touches per game, right up there with Stephen Curry's 86 (and four more than LeBron James' 78). Durant managed to finish third in the NBA in scoring despite significantly fewer touches per game in Oklahoma City (65). His touches should elevate simply because the ball moves more frequently in the Warriors' offense, but even if he maintains those 65 touches, it would be almost 20 more per game than the player he's replacing, Harrison Barnes, who signed a free-agent contract with the Dallas Mavericks in July. That means someone else will have to dip.
When Kevin Garnett joined Paul Pierce and Ray Allen in Boston, the individual numbers declined for all three. That was actually a key to their success. These Warriors are different. They can't all recede. They need someone to step forward when the games matter most.
"That's just part of basketball," Durant said. "It's going to happen. You never know who it'll be. That's what makes it so dangerous. From Steph to Klay [Thompson] to me, S. Dot [ Shaun Livingston], Draymond, Andre ... all of us can take over the game. It's not even about scoring. It's about having an impact. I think that's what everybody brings."
NBA basketball still revolves around the stars leading their teams. It's a team sport featuring great individuals. LeBron snatched the NBA Finals from the Warriors. The Warriors wouldn't have even been there if not for Klay Thompson's historic shooting night in Game 6 of the conference finals. And so on. There are some exceptions, such as the 2014 San Antonio Spurs or the 2004 Detroit Pistons, but there's a reason those types come along only once a decade.
Durant is fresh off being the star among stars in the gold-medal game of the Rio Olympics, when he scored 30 points.
"My thing is, I impose my will by scoring, when we need it," Durant said. "I can do the other things, but I'm highlighted by my scoring and how efficient I can put the ball in the basket and try to search out good shots for our group. I think whatever team I played on, that's what calmed us down, is me trying to get a good shot vs. just shooting and trying to score. That's the type of game I play.
"Just from the first few days of practice, I've been playing the same way I've played my whole life."
So far there's been no need to do anything different. He is aware of where he is and who he's playing with, though. Just before Durant met with the media, he wandered over to the basket where Curry's post-practice shooting drill was underway, Durant's eyes following the parabolas of Curry's 3-pointers. Then Curry shifted toward the baseline, and Durant dutifully stepped off the court to give him more space.
Keep in mind, Curry had a slightly higher usage rate than Russell Westbrook last season, and we all remember the speculation about who would have the ball in Oklahoma City. Durant managed to get his shots (about 20 per game), and the Warriors will carve out room for him in his new setting. From the sound of things, he won't feel guilty about taking them.