Basketball

NBA will return to Seattle, and so will Durant, in Kings-Warriors preseason game, sources say

The preseason meeting between the Kings and Golden State Warriors in Seattle would mark the return of Kevin Durant to the city where his NBA career began.
The preseason meeting between the Kings and Golden State Warriors in Seattle would mark the return of Kevin Durant to the city where his NBA career began. The Associated Press

The Kings and Golden State Warriors have scheduled a preseason game next season in Seattle, according to multiple league sources.

The Oct. 6 meeting between Northern California teams will be the first NBA game in the Key Arena since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season and became the Thunder.

The surprising development is sure to generate a tremendous amount of interest – and conflicted emotions – given the history of both teams in Seattle.

Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant made his NBA debut as a member of the Sonics before spending the ensuing eight seasons with the Thunder. The veteran forward signed with the Warriors – who are hosting the game – as a free agent in the 2016 offseason.

For Kings fans, any mention of Seattle as it relates to the NBA brings up memories of Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen’s attempts to purchase the Kings from the Maloofs in 2013 and move the franchise to Seattle. Then-Commissioner David Stern gave Sacramento leaders the chance to put together an investors group that would match the sales price.

Coincidentally, that new ownership group is headed by Vivek Ranadive, a former minority owner of the Warriors.

The contract for the game has not yet been signed, but that is considered a formality.

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