Sporting retro Shawn Kemp jersey, Kevin Durant receives massive ovation in return to Seattle Staff

Oct 5, 2018 11:20 PM ET


"NBA is back in Seattle for tonight, but hopefully it's back forever soon," Kevin Durant said before tipoff.

More than a decade after the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City -- 3,827 days to be exact -- the NBA returned to Seattle on Friday night for a preseason contest between the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors.

The game was a homecoming of sorts for Golden State forward Kevin Durant, who played his rookie season with the Sonics before the team moved to the midwest.

Durant wore a retro Shawn Kemp jersey as his name was called during pregame announcements, much to the delight of the sold-out crowd at KeyArena.

Durant also took the microphone before tipoff to relay a message to the fans.

"First off, I want to get a shout out to the Seattle Storm for holding it down and winning a championship," Durant said. "On behalf of myself, the NBA, our organization, my teammates we want to thank you guys for coming out and supporting us. I know it's been a rough 10 years. NBA is back in Seattle for tonight. Hopefully it's back forever soon."

Drafted No. 2 overall in the 2007 draft, Durant played one season in Seattle and won Rookie of the Year honors. He averaged 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

To mark the occasion, Durant broke out custom green shoes with gold accents to wear during the game.


During his rookie season, Kevin Durant led the Sonics points, blocks, steals and free-throw percentage.


It's been 10 years since the Sonics' final game at KeyArena, which feels like a lifetime ago to some fans.


Kevin Durant finishes with 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the Warriors' 122-94 victory.

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