Kevin Durant touches down in Seattle wearing a "Reign Man" throwback jersey,
Kevin Durant's return to his inaugural NBA 'home base' was met with the warmest of receptions. His Golden State Warriors and their opponents, the Sacramento Kings, converged on neutral ground to compete in an NBA preseason tune-up. Inevitably the matchup was put in place with Durant in mind, as the preseason is often the lone occasion the league's front office gets to tour their product in non-NBA cities. It so happens that Seattle has a rich NBA history, one that Kevin Durant knows all too well.
The most heartwarming moment for the Seattle faithful came as the players from the defacto 'home side' were being introduced. Kevin Durant lept to his feet as his name was announcing, brandishing the shamrock green of a mid-90s Shawn Kemp Supersonics jersey, later sharing a few heartfelt words with the crowd once the lights re-emerged in the venue.
Durant's connection to the Seattle-area was shortlived due to the Sonic's relocation to OKC in 2008. After the game, Durant shared his thoughts with ESPN, concerning the jitters leading up to the opening tip, and most importantly, his pre-game speaking engagement. His coach Steve Kerr whose career paralleled the "Reign Man" era in Seattle, was consequently hit with a weird set of emotions as the Warriors were being called to the floor.
"When I woke up from my pregame nap I was just nervous," Durant said after the final buzzer. "I've never felt that way coming into a game, especially a preseason game. But just knowing this whole thing was kind of set up for that moment, I guess. It was just a crazy feeling to come out and feel that much love from the fan base."
The Golden State held on to win 122-94, with Durant pouring out 26 points in exactly 26 minutes of action.