NBA rumors present some interesting information about Kevin Durant and his first return to play the Oklahoma City Thunder as a member of the Golden State Warriors. During the past NBA offseason, Durant decided to leave in free agency, signing a long-term contract with the team that eliminated the Thunder from the playoffs. Durant returns to OKC on Saturday night (Feb. 11) for a primetime match-up. As expected, many fans are on edge about the situation, with social media covered in negative comments about Durant.
A new report by ESPN addresses some new NBA rumors stating that Durant doesn’t feel safe returning to the team that he spurned just a few months prior. League sources tell ESPN that a heightened armed security team will be accompanying the Golden State Warriors for this road game. The added security personnel is reportedly triple the size of the team that the Warriors typically travel with on road games. While not unheard of, this raised level of security is being used in a precautionary sense.
In addition to the armed security that will be used to protect the Warriors and Kevin Durant, there will also be additional security in the stands. Rich Kleiman, who serves as Durant’s business partner and put together the free agent meetings for him, will be seated with Durant’s mother (Wanda) at the game. They will be joined by security serving to protect them from the Oklahoma City crowd. It is likely that both people could receive a lot of “boos” during the game on Saturday night.
That’s not the end of these NBA rumors either, as it has also been reported that Kevin Durant reached out to the agent of LeBron James for tips on how to deal with the situation. Rich Paul, who serves as the agent for James, had to help him through a return first to play the Cleveland Cavaliers when he left, and then when James returned to play the Miami Heat when he left that franchise. Paul, who is now very familiar with these types of situations, gave Durant the tip of hiring on additional security.
Game time for the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors is 8:30 p.m. ET, with the game taking place on ABC. Both teams are very secure in the latest NBA playoff standings, with the Warriors easily holding the No. 1 seed and OKC holding the No. 7 seed. If the postseason began today, the teams would avoid facing each other until possibly the Western Conference Finals. Setting aside how the game will affect the standings, the arena is going to be very charged with emotions from fans and players alike.
What’s on the line for OKC in this game? All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook has the opportunity to show Kevin Durant that he can lead the Thunder without him. Loyal and die-hard fans of the Thunder will be out in full-force to support Westbrook in that endeavor, adding to the fever that will likely consume the arena on Saturday night. It is certainly going to be an exciting atmosphere for television viewers as well as everyone in attendance. The game is a very hot ticket, with OKC fans hoping that it ends in another win for the home team.
The Golden State Warriors already hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder in a game earlier this season (Jan. 18). In that match-up, Kevin Durant had 40 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 121-100 victory. Russell Westbrook finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 13 assists for the Thunder in a losing effort. That win followed a one-sided 122-96 victory by the Warriors back on November 3. The next two games take place in OKC, with the interesting wrinkle that these latest NBA rumors provide information about additional armed security being present.
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