In the end, the lure of becoming a Splash Brother was too much to resist.

On Monday, Kevin Durant chose Golden State. He’ll join a Warriors team that won an NBA-record 73 games during the regular season. The decision broke the hearts of many in Oklahoma City, where Durant had been a member of the Thunder since 2008.

There were a few tears shed on Boston’s Causeway Street. Danny Ainge had pulled out all the stops in trying to bring Durant to the Celtics. He even brought Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to the meeting with Durant over the weekend.

Brady’s presence wasn’t enough to close the deal, but it was a reminder of what a great sports town Boston is. The greatest quarterback in the game – maybe the greatest quarterback ever – went to the Hamptons to preach the Beantown gospel.

The Celtics may not be ready to compete with Golden State, but Boston will take on any city when it comes to the title of Best Sports Town in America.

Brady understands that. So does David Ortiz, who took to Twitter to tell Durant “they don’t call Boston the City of Champions for nothing.”

No, they call it the City of Champions because Brady and Ortiz have combined to bring seven championships to Boston in the past 15 years. The Celtics and Bruins have each added one to the mix. There are plenty of so-called big-league sports towns that haven’t had nine titles in the past 100 years.

Ainge was hoping Durant would join the newly signed Al Horford and Isaiah Thomas as a new Big Three, trying to recapture the magic of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett/Ray Allen trio of 2008. That team brought an 18th banner to the Garden. Ainge was hoping Durant would choose to be part of the effort to bring No. 19.

Instead, he chose to go to the West Coast. Ainge will now have to figure how to build Horford and a talented cast of youngsters into a contender. There is plenty of optimism about the future for this franchise.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox took the field on Independence Day just three games out of first in the AL East, desperately looking for another pitcher that could put them over the top and make them the team to beat.

The Patriots – even if they’re missing Brady for the start of the season – are the best team in the AFC East. The Bruins are rebuilding, and have plenty of room under the salary cap to make this team worthy of its passionate fan base.

Durant may have turned his back on Boston, but the golden era of Boston sports is not over yet – even if a seven-time All-Star has decided to take his talents to the Bay Area.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.