(Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE/Getty Images)
It's Been a While
Warriors Return to KeyArena in Seattle for First Time Since 2007
Friday's preseason game in Seattle is a homecoming of sorts for several members of the Warriors.
If you're planning on attending the preseason game between the Warriors and Kings on Friday night, don't head to Oakland or Sacramento. You're going to have to go a bit further north than that.
That's right, the next time the Dubs take the court, they'll do so in Seattle, Washington, a city they haven't played in in more than a decade.
Just how long has it been, exactly? Well, the last time the Warriors played at KeyArena, Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington led Golden State with 20 points apiece, Steve Kerr was General Manager of the Phoenix Suns, Stephen Curry was a sophomore at Davidson, and Kevin Durant was on the opposing sideline, playing in his 18th career NBA game as a rookie for the Seattle SuperSonics. Oh, and the Dubs won 109-96.
My, how times have changed. Needless to say, the return to the Emerald City has the Warriors excited, and the expected sellout crowd doesn't hurt either.
"This being my fifth year, I don't remember a game I looked more forward to than this one in Seattle," said Kerr on Wednesday. "For sentimental reasons, but also, it's just an incredible city with great fans."
"There's an organic energy that comes from a fan base where you know they just love basketball," Kerr continued. "I always felt that way when I went to Seattle as a player. You could feel the buzz when you walked out onto the floor…I'm looking forward to feeling that buzz again."
While Kerr is returning to one of his favorite road arenas and Durant is returning to the site of his NBA launching point, they're not the only members of the Warriors with fond memories of Seattle. In fact, Warriors President and COO Rick Welts is likely carrying the torch.
Welts, a Seattle native who was just inducted into the NBA Hall-of-Fame last month, got his original start in the NBA at the age of 16 working as a ball boy for the Sonics. His first day on the job, he met then-player Rod Thorn, who was inducted alongside Welts at the 2018 Hall-of-Fame ceremonies in what was undoubtedly a special moment for the longtime friends. Welts went on to become Seattle's director of public relations, serving in that position when the team won its only title in 1979. He eventually left to take a job in the league office in New York, and has since served as the President of two NBA franchises, being the Suns and Warriors.
So, certainly a little further north than the usual matchups between the Northern California foes, but this is one that is highly anticipated by both the fans and the team alike.
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