Durant feels the love in return to Seattle
Kevin Durant got off the bus inside the loading dock of KeyArena in
Seattle about two hours before tipoff and made a quick glance toward the court, visible through the tunnel.
He was back where his
NBA career began more than a decade ago.
Durant was back in Seattle on Friday night along with his Golden State Warriors for a preseason game against the Sacramento Kings for the first NBA game in the city since the SuperSonics left for Oklahoma City following the 2007-08 season.
It was an opportunity for the Seattle basketball community to gather once more before KeyArena becomes a construction site later this fall as part of a $700 million renovation that is expected to land the city an expansion NHL team.
The Warriors beat the Kings 122-96. Klay Thompson
scored 30 points. Durant had 26. None of that truly mattered.
All the focus was on Durant, who along with Jeff Green are the only players remaining in the league who played for the Sonics in Seattle. When he was introduced as the last member of the starting lineup for Golden State, Durant pulled off his warmup revealing a Shawn Kemp SuperSonics jersey from the 1996 season, the last time Seattle made the NBA Finals. The crowd erupted, as if Durant needed to be any more beloved in the Emerald City.
Durant also took the microphone before tipoff to relay a message to the fans that turned out.
"On behalf of myself, the NBA, our organization, my teammates we want to thank you guys for coming out and supporting us," Durant said. "I know it's been a rough 10 years. NBA is back in Seattle for tonight. Hopefully it's back forever soon."
Spurs rookie Walker to miss start of season
Rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV of the San Antonio Spurs will miss the start of the regular season because of surgery to repair a torn right meniscus.
Walker, 19, was hurt in the Spurs' preseason win over Detroit on Friday night.
The Spurs say he will have surgery on Monday, and that a timeline for his return will be determined after that procedure. The rehab for meniscus surgery is often in the range of six weeks.
Kawhi Leonard sits out Toronto's preseason home debut
Kawhi Leonard's debut in his new home arena will have to wait.
Leonard was one of the regulars who rested Friday night, when the Toronto Raptors defeated Melbourne United 120-82. The Raptors scheduled five preseason games this season, but Friday's was the only one that'll be played in Toronto. Kyle Lowry also got the night off for the Raptors. FROM WIRE REPORTS