Kevin Durant has a unique perspective on the Sacramento Kings’ potential relocation to Seattle.
The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar, who spent his rookie season as the leader of the Seattle Supersonics, spoke regarding the possible return of the NBA to Seattle.
“It’s a great day for Seattle fans and a tough day for Sacramento fans,” Durant told Bleacher Report and a small group of reporters prior to Wednesday night’s game in Oakland.
Durant, who will play in Sacramento against the Kings on Friday, was asked about the deal announced by current Kings ownership, the Maloof Family, to sell the Kings to a Seattle investor group, pending a vote by the NBA Board of Governors.
“I feel for the Sacramento fans because you never know when another team will come around,” Durant said. “That was a great city. Fans were very enthused about basketball there in Sacramento so it’s going to be tough to see them leave.”
The deal to Seattle is far from over and Sacramento is still hoping to put together an ownership group of its own, as reported on Tuesday by USA Today’s Sam Amick.
The day-to-day, back-and-forth of the situation is familiar to Durant from that final Supersonics season in 2008.
“We really didn’t know what would happen,” Durant said. “People would always speculate. I didn’t think we’d move so quickly. After my rookie year I thought we’d be in Seattle for a few more years but it happened so quickly. We just got up and moved. Like I said it all worked out for the best. I’m sure it will happen the same way with the Kings.”
Durant shared fond memories of Seattle, recalling the atmosphere of the team’s final home game against the Dallas Mavericks on April 14, 2008.
“I remember hitting a shot to put us up one and I couldn’t hear anything walking to the bench,” Durant said. “That’s how loud it was in there.”
Durant said he hasn’t been back to the city of Seattle since that final game, but he said that being drafted there, he still had a place in his heart for the city.
“The fans are unbelievable, they show so much support,” Durant said. “It’s just a great city, just a great NBA city.”
He added: “It’s going to be cool to go back there and play as an opposing team. I know they are not going to show Oklahoma City as much love as we’d like, but it would be fun to play in there so we’ll see what happens.”
As for Sacramento, Durant said he imagines some of the Kings players might ask for advice about the experience of moving with a franchise.
“I’m sure they are going to ask me when we play them, on the court or after the game,” Durant said. “It’s a tough situation because you really have no control. You’ve just got to get up and leave, go to a new city, new environment.”
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