Kevin Durant has been asked this question before. When the Sacramento Kings nearly relocated to Anaheim two years ago, I spoke to him about what it was like to leave Seattle. He recalled that last game in KeyArena vividly.
“The fans came and supported us two hours before the game started,” the star forward said following last night’s 120-112 victory over the Sacramento Kings. “And they wanted everybody to know that they wanted their team there.”
Durant put on an effortless show in the Thunder’s only visit to Sacramento this season. Last night, the Thunder small forward scored an easy 24 points on 12 shots and grabbed 11 rebounds in the win. If that was indeed his last game in Sacramento, it wasn’t a bad way to go out. Here’s what Durant had to say about playing in the capital city and its fans.
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks was asked if he’d like to see the Kings stay. The Manteca native and former Kings assistant offered this response pregame.
“I mean like I said, it’s so hypothetical. It’s not fair for me to comment on it because it hasn’t happened. There’s really no comment from me other than they have some of the best fans in basketball. They supported the team for many years. There’s probably a few years in there they probably shouldn’t have supported them because they weren’t playing at the level that everybody wants their team to play at…”
Kevin Martin spent the first five-and-half years of his career in Sacramento. Before scoring 24 points off the Thunder’s bench last night, Martin said he was distancing himself from the possibility of playing for the last time in the capital city.
“It could be if all that happens. But you know, just right now just worry about the games and let things off the court take care of itself.”
Martin also had nothing but good things to say about Kings fans who supported him during his time in Sacramento. Usually, you can tell when someone is giving you a cookie-cutter answer. But, Martin’s comments seemed sincere and far from being a canned response.
“Oh man, it’s unbelievable. That’s why I still have an emotional attachment to these fans and this community. It’s kind of like I came here as a little boy and left as a man. And that’s a representation of how they accepted me with open arms. Just being out in the community, doing things for the community. It was a great first stop for me in realizing how you were supposed to be as an adult.”