Warriors To Welcome Back Nets Star Kevin Durant in Big Way

Kevin Durant

Getty Kevin Durant looks on during the second quarter of Brooklyn's game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on December 27, 2020.

The Warriors were already a championship-winning team by the time the 2016 offseason rolled around. Then Golden State acquired Kevin Durant and morphed into a full-blown superteam.

Saturday’s game at Chase Center will be the first time Durant, now starring for the Brooklyn Nets, plays in the home venue of his former team. The Nets, who signed Durant in July 2019, hosted the Warriors once last year, but the 6-foot-10 forward sat out the duration of the 2019-20 season.

Video Tribute Planned for Durant

Durant helped Golden State win two NBA titles in 2017-18. He was named Finals MVP both times.

Golden State plans to honor the 10-time All-Star during Nets-Warriors on Saturday. Per USA Today’s Mark Medina, the Warriors will share a video tribute for Durant for his first game back in the Bay Area. Additionally, the Warriors will celebrate Durant with the video tribute again when the Warriors next play the Nets at Chase Center with fans in the arena, Medina reported.

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The 32-year-old Durant, who spent the first nine years of his career with the Oklahoma City franchise, averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists in his three years with the Warriors. He was named an All-Star in all three seasons.

Nets Share Video Tribute of Their Own on Wednesday

Pacers forward Caris LeVert, who spent the first four seasons of his NBA career with the Nets after they drafted him 20th overall in the 2016 draft, was part of the four-team trade that landed James Harden in Brooklyn on January 14. Before the trade, Levert was averaging 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists for Brooklyn.

The Nets shared a tribute video for LeVert ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Pacers a Barclays Center, LeVert’s first trip back to the venue since being traded.

A group of Nets players, including Kyrie Irving, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Jeff Green, and Tyler Johnson, greeted LeVert at the conclusion of Brooklyn’s 104-94 win over Indiana, per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.

Ironically, being dealt to Indiana may have saved LeVert’s life. During the physical he underwent as part of the trade process, an MRI revealed that LeVert had a small cancerous mass on his left kidney. It may have never been discovered if not for the trade.

“Definitely humbled to know that this trade could have possibly saved me,” LeVert said during his introductory press conference, per ESPN.

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