Kevin Durant will return to Seattle on Friday to play a preseason game against the Sacramento Kings in KeyArena. It will be the first time Durant has played a professional basketball game in Seattle since the Supersonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder.
Due to Durant’s connection with the city — he was second-overall pick by the Supersonics in the 2007 draft — he’s had to face a number of questions about whether he believes Seattle should have a professional basketball team again.
The 30-year-old Durant is on board with that idea, according to ESPN.
“For sure,” Durant told ESPN. “Most definitely. It’s a basketball city. It’s a sports town. … They have a good representation of basketball in the NBA from Seattle-born players, Washington state-born players. And I feel like that whole brand deserves an NBA team. Just like the Golden State Warriors deserve a team or the Los Angeles Lakers deserve a team, Seattle is that same way. [A team] has that same type of impact in the community. So [we have] a lot of time in life before this whole thing is over, and I’m sure we’ll see a team before it’s time.”
Durant’s prediction may come true. The city of Seattle approved a $700 million renovation of KeyArena in late September. Seattle is already hoping to secure an NHL team in the near future, and many have wondered whether basketball could be next.
The KeyArena renovations were approved with the thinking that Seattle would pursue an NBA team eventually, and demand in the city for the basketball team is high. Given the city’s connection to the Supersonics, Seattle will be a popular name any time the NBA considers expansion or a team talks about relocation.
Depending on how quickly things move, Friday’s game might not be the last time Durant plays an NBA game in Seattle.
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