Kevin Durant, Steve Kerr Voice Support for NBA Franchise in Seattle

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2018

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 5: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors wears Shawn Kemp #40 during the pre-game against the Sacramento Kings during a pre-season game on October 5, 2018 at KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

If Kevin Durant and Steve Kerr have any say, Seattle will have an NBA franchise again in the near-future. 

"I think every NBA player at this point knows that Seattle needs a basketball team," Durant said before the Golden State Warriors played the Sacramento Kings in an exhibition at Seattle's KeyArena on Friday night, per ESPN.com's Nick Friedell. "It's obviously over the top of our heads, but [we'll] continue to show support for the city of Seattle. I think that's what everybody wants to do."

Kerr, who played against the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals as a member of the Chicago Bulls, echoed Durant's sentiment as he reminisced about his time on the hardwood. 

"I've always loved the Sonics brand; I've loved the city," Kerr said, per Friedell. "The fanbase was always an incredible place to play. It reminded me a lot of Oracle actually, coming to KeyArena when I played. Just kind of organic. The fans here love basketball. It's a hot bed with a lot of great players who come from Seattle. So I'm hoping the Sonics return some day. I guess this is my way of supporting that cause."

Durant, of course, was selected second overall by the SuperSonics in the 2007 draft and spent one season donning green and yellow before the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City and rebranded as the Thunder. 

"I was 19 years old," Durant told Bleacher Report's Jonathan Abrams of his time in Seattle. "I was just trying to play. I didn't really know too much about an NBA organization or how it was run or what I needed to do. I just enjoyed the love. Everybody embraced me from the beginning. They knew I was the new kid in town and I was trying to embark on something special."

On Friday, Durant showed his respect for the Sonics and came out for player introductions rocking a retro Shawn Kemp jersey: 

Despite the supportive words and gestures, expansion likely isn't on the horizon. 

According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, the NBA "doesn't have expansion anywhere on its timeline," and it may not be a legitimate option until 2025 when the league negotiates a new television rights package. 

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