Last season, opening night was ring night for the reigning NBA champion Warriors. This year, they’ll ring in the new season by welcoming Kevin Durant back to The Bay on Oct. 24.
The NBA released the full schedule Thursday and Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. joined 95.7 The Game’s “Steiny and Guru” to give his first impressions. Dunleavy said the team plans to honor KD before the season opener.
“I think the combo of him returning and us opening against a formidable opponent should make the building pretty electric,” Dunleavy told Daryle ‘The Guru’ Johnson and Allen Stiles (filling in for Matt Steinmetz). “We gotta figure out a way to appropriately honor Kevin. He hasn’t actually played in Chase Center since departing. I know it’s been a while, but anytime great players like that who have given up so much to the franchise come back, you gotta figure out a way to honor them. We’ll do that appropriately.”
If he’s healthy for the regular season opener, Durant will play his first game at Chase Center in front of fans. Back in 2021, KD played in front of an empty house in San Francisco before being unavailable for the 2022 trip with the Nets and 2023 with the Suns. The Warriors made Durant a tribute video for the big screen before the 2021 matchup, but it won't be the same with fans in attendance this time.
Durant spent 2017-19 with the Dubs, winning two rings and making three Finals appearances before injuring his Achilles in the 2019 Finals matchup against the Toronto Raptors.
Durant actually got a tour of Chase Center when it was under construction in 2018, during the midst of his championship runs with the Warriors.
The opening night matchup will also pit Chris Paul against his former Phoenix teammates, as CP3 played with the Suns for the past three seasons before being traded in the Bradley Beal deal. Former Warrior Damion Lee, who is Steph Curry’s brother-in-law, is always a welcome sight at Chase Center.