A strange hoodoo between the Golden State Warriors and former franchise star Kevin Durant is set to end on the opening night of the 2023-24 NBA season, with a raft of scheduling information revealed on Thursday.
Despite over four years having passed since the two-time Finals MVP departed the Warriors in free agency during the 2019 offseason, Durant is yet to play his former team in front of fans at Chase Center.
The Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns will meet in a mouthwatering opening night matchup to tip-off the 2023-24 NBA season.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the Warriors will take on Durant and the Phoenix Suns on opening night, providing the best opportunity for Durant to play in front of his former fans for the first time.
The 34-year-old played against Golden State at Chase Center in February 2021, but that was without fans due to Covid restrictions. Injury prevented Durant from two further games at Chase Center during his time with the Brooklyn Nets, and a third in March after he was traded to the Suns.
Not only will the occasion signal Durant’s return to a crowd-filled Chase Center, but just as importantly it will see Chris Paul’s first game as a Warrior come against his former team where he spent three seasons.
Phoenix dealt the 38-year-old point-guard to the Washington Wizards in a deal for Bradley Beal in June, with the rebuilding franchise quickly flipping him to Golden State for a package centered around Jordan Poole.
Both the Warriors and Suns have taken a clear win-now approach this offseason, doubling down on their superstar talent as they strive for championship success. Although it’s just Game 1 of 82, the matchup will provide an early litmus test for both teams.
The Warriors-Suns meeting is likely to follow another huge Western Conference matchup to start the season, with the Denver Nuggets to celebrate their 2023 championship at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.