SEATTLE – The NBA is officially returning to Seattle … for a game, at least.
First reported in February by The Sacramento Bee and confirmed Thursday by the NBA’s release of its preseason schedule, the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors will play a preseason game at KeyArena on Oct. 5, with the Warriors acting as the home team.
It would be the first NBA game in the city since the Sonics left following the 2007-08 season, and it is also reported to be the final event before KeyArena undergoes a $600 million renovation.
Ticket information has yet to be released.
Kevin Durant, now part of the defending NBA champion Warriors, spent his first professional season in Seattle after the Sonics took him No. 2 overall in the 2007 draft. Of course, the next season Clay Bennett moved the team to Oklahoma City.
This, however, is hardly the first time Durant has returned to Seattle since the team departed for Oklahoma City. Most recently, he visited the city to help renovate a basketball court in the Central District’s Powell Barnett Park. This past summer, Durant made an appearance at Spokane’s Hoopfest. Rainier Beach alum Jamal Crawford has brought Durant – and a slew of other NBA players to town – through his yearly Seattle Pro-Am.
“If that’s true, I’m looking forward to coming and playing in front of the fans I first came into the league with,” Durant told media in Oakland, California. “It’s gonna be a dope experience. Just the fans, man … The Seattle Sonics culture is deep. The tradition is pretty huge, so you see fans that have been there for ages come to the games, that still come to a random game on a Tuesday, they come and show support.”
With this matchup comes more history. The last time Seattle was as close to getting a professional basketball team as it is today – closer, in fact – was Chris Hansen’s failed attempt to bring the Kings to Seattle in 2013.