"Coming into the game, we were excited about kind of finishing off last season with the ring ceremony, but every game is not gonna be a 140-99 shootout for us", Durant said.
A new National Basketball Association season is underway and, once again, the Golden State Warriors are the team to beat.
Even though this could arguably be the best roster ever constructed, there are still issues that will linger as the season turns to opening night.
"It's special. I remember looking up there and there was only Philadelphia Warriors banners and the '74-75 teams, so to come into Oracle every night- even in our practice facility - look up on the wall and the rafters and see three championship banners that we brought back to the Bay, it's incredible".
2017-18: Played exhausted and uninspired basketball, barely dragging through an injury-plagued and malaise-filled regular season, only to romp through the first two rounds, come back from down 3-2 to the Rockets when - you guessed it - injuries struck, then they completely annihilated the Cavaliers. 'Unbelievable journey' Then came the final championship banner raising at Oracle Arena, the NBA's oldest arena, built in 1966.
"All year long, we do it for you guys".
That last slot is typically designated for Stephen Curry, the cornerstone of the franchise and leader of its historic turnaround.
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"So let's celebrate it to the fullest".
The Thunder battled Golden State to the finish, a free throw by New Zealand's Steven Adams pulling Oklahoma City within 99-97 with 1:57 remaining.
Meanwhile, the latest batch of championship rings handed out before the opener feature a flashy new gimmick. Paul George led Oklahoma City with 27 points while Schroder added 21 and Adams had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Russell Westbrook is out for the season opener, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan confirmed Tuesday. We have a lot of things to work on. "I already know what this organization is about".
It's easy to appreciate Durant's "just focus on the games" sentiment, but the simple fact of the matter is that is not what fans want - it's not what they read, watch, and consume.
Kevon Looney recorded a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double, while Draymond Green grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who split the four-game season series with the Thunder last season.