Before Monday night's game, Steve Kerr was asked twice whether Kevin Durant would watch the game from the Warrior bench. He was loudly booed when he was introduced and every time he touched the ball.
However, being back in Oklahoma brings up feelings from the first meeting, where the Warriors were "furious and bewildered" by how the Thunder handled his return and the lack of public support the team gave Durant in his return, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes. "Sources say the Warriors were of the mindset that someone from ownership or management should have addressed the media on Durant's behalf to help ease the tension upon his return".
Not only will this be an opportunity for the Thunder to show which team stacks up better without the services of an all-generational player in Durant, but Westbrook could have his "Heisman Moment" in front of a National TV audience.
"I've never played against a player like that", Kings rookie George Papagiannis said after going toe to toe with the Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams, one of the more physical players in the National Basketball Association. In their most recent meeting, the Warriors beat the Thunder 130-114 in Oklahoma City on February 11. Unexpectedly, Durant was met with vitriol as Thunder fans rained down insults and chants throughout the contest.
The hostile reaction from Oklahoma City fans didn't seem to faze Durant.
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Durant left Oklahoma City without a ring, leaving a sense of unfinished business for everyone there and with a sense that their championship window slammed shut.
Additionally, given that the Thunder were up 3-1 against the Warriors past year in the playoffs and couldn't close the deal AND then Durant went to leave for that very team, it's going to be a doubly tough pill to swallow for the franchise and its fans.
Did the Golden State Warriors really expect a grand entrance for a traitor?