On Friday night, he offered a reminder of just how sweet the atmosphere can be while scoring 26 points in the Golden State Warriors’ 122-94 win over the Sacramento Kings.
For Durant, who was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the second overall pick in the 2007 draft, the night brought emotions he hasn’t felt before.
“When I woke up from my pregame nap, I was just nervous,” Durant said after the game. “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 memories came rushing back for Durant early and often during Friday night’s affair. While Durant’s return was celebrated, the night was less about the actual game and more about a celebration of Sonics basketball.
Fans wore old Sonics jerseys and held up signs asking the NBA to return to the basketball-crazed city. Durant set the tone for the evening by wearing a Shawn Kemp Sonics jersey during starting lineup introductions. The sellout crowd at KeyArena, which had already applauded Durant’s every move in pregame warm-ups, went bonkers when they saw him wearing the Kemp jersey.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping
“To honor one of the past legends of the game, and also a Sonic legend, was pretty cool,” Durant said. “Just the crowd, and to hear them so loud and enthused for the game of basketball. It was breathtaking.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the Kemp-themed introduction brought out his emotions as well.
“That was awesome,” Kerr said. “It brought chills. The crowd was going nuts. That was amazing. I might have gone with the ‘Downtown’ Freddie Brown jersey myself, but that’s just ’cause I’m a little older. But it was fun to see all those guys out there too. … It was a fun night, just a really fun night.”nfl cheap nike jerseys
Both Durant and Kerr were vocal in recent days regarding the fact they felt Seattle should have an NBA team. It was a message Durant reiterated prior to tipoff while addressing the sellout crowd. He first shouted out the WNBA champion Seattle Storm, adding that he was hopeful an NBA team would return to the city soon. It was an emotional night for many in attendance as Seattle hosted an NBA game for the first time in over 10 years since the Sonics relocated and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“The message was sent over these last 11 years,” Durant said after the game. “Just still support for the Sonics in NBA arenas around the country, around the world. So many people know what the Sonics culture is, and I think that’s something the NBA can’t ignore. I think tonight was kind of the cherry on top as far as saying, ‘Hey look, man, we deserve a team here. We’ll support a team, and they need to bring one back, man.’ We’re going to keep saying it until it happens. All of us in here, everybody in that arena, every NBA player knows it, so hopefully the NBA does what it’s supposed to do.”