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