OAKLAND, Calif. — New Warriors addition Kevin Durant emerged from the tunnel to a hearty cheer from the Oracle Arena crowd as he came out for his pregame warm-up ahead of Tuesday’s Team USA exhibition game.
Durant completed his first shooting routine in Oakland — a workmanlike two-man game between himself and Team USA assistant Monty Williams — and sauntered over to the crowd hanging over the tunnel. One fan held up a sign proclaiming “KD is NOT the VILLAIN.” Just to the left of the placard, Durant autographed a new Warriors home jersey bearing his name.
Just before tipoff, Golden State’s star triumvirate of Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson took center court, with Green on the mic. Green, the most vocal Warrior, exhorted the crowd to welcome KD, and they happily obliged.
The crowd roared for more than 15 seconds, before finally getting interrupted by DeAndre Jordan‘s name ringing out over the speakers.
The Oracle fans gave equally spirited cheers for Green and Thompson as they took the floor. Durant will be a media fixation this season, but it’s a level of attention his new teammates have grown accustomed to.
“We were under a microscope all of last year,” said current Golden State assistant coach and former Thunder assistant Ron Adams, as he watched from the sidelines. “It’s nothing new.”
Durant cemented his debut on the Warriors’ home floor by hitting a quick 3-pointer on the game’s opening possession, followed soon after by an uncontested dunk.