NBA fans across the nation will get an early look at the Kings in a city that was almost their home.
ESPN on Thursday announced it would televise five preseason games. The second game on the schedule: Kings vs. the Golden State Warriors in Seattle.
The game, which tips off Oct. 5 at KeyArena, is the first NBA action in the city since the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008 and became the Thunder.
While it’s only one of six preseason games for the Kings, it could bring back some uneasy memories for Kings fans and NBA followers in Seattle, considering the team could have relocated to the city in 2013. Fortunately for Sacramento, the NBA stepped in and a group led by Vivek Ranadive purchased the Kings and kept the team in the city it has called home since 1985.
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It’s a homecoming of sorts for Warriors forward Kevin Durant. He was the SuperSonics’ last first-round draft pick, going No. 2 overall in 2007. He won NBA Rookie of the Year honors in the team’s final season in the Pacific Northwest.
Durant was excited about the possibility of returning to Seattle before the game was officially set.
“That would be amazing, hopefully that goes through,” Durant told the San Francisco Chronicle in February. “I mean, the fans of Seattle definitely deserve basketball, and that would be amazing. So, I’m looking forward to that.”
For ESPN viewers, it could be the only look at the Kings in 2018-19. They’re not yet slated to play on the network in the regular season, but the Kings do have five nationally televised games on other networks, including a Nov. 29 home date against the Los Angeles Clippers on TNT.
Follow Noel Harris on Twitter: @SacBeeNoel