Kevin Durant

Lacob confident Durant deserves ‘massive' ovation from Warriors fans

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Kevin Durant left the Warriors in the summer of 2019, and more than four full years later, he has yet to play in front of fans at Chase Center.

The only time he has played in Chase Center came on Feb. 13, 2021, when fans weren't allowed in the building because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Durant had a chance to play at Chase Center a month after he was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Phoenix Suns in February, but an ankle injury kept him out of the March 13 game.

Now, barring something unforeseen, Durant finally will get to play in front of Dub Nation when the Suns open the 2023-24 NBA season against the Warriors on Tuesday in San Francisco.

While there's a portion of the Warriors fan base still upset Durant left, team CEO Joe Lacob wants to make sure the two-time NBA champion receives the reception he deserves next week.

"I want to say this to all of our fans," Lacob told 95.7 The Game's Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky on "The Morning Roast" on Wednesday. "It needs to be, it should be and it will be a tremendous ovation for a guy who helped us win two world championships, and it should have been three, if it wasn't for injury. So this guy, I have nothing but the highest regard for him. He was a fantastic person to be on our team at the time.

"For various reasons, he decided for him, he had to leave. I can't comment on that. I don't know if I understand that. I wish he would have stayed. But the bottom line is, I have nothing but the greatest respect [for him]. All of us should feel that way. And he should get a massive ovation."

Lacob wants to make sure Durant is recognized for not only what he was able to accomplish during his Warriors tenure, but also what his stunning 2016 arrival meant in the grand scheme.

"It was a big deal when he came here, and let's not forget that," Lacob told Hill and Shasky. "It changed us. It raised us up a level in the basketball world, if you will. And he's a big part of that history."

Dub Nation will get its chance to shower Durant with adulation during the NBA's marquee prime-time opening-night game.

And as Lacob noted, it should be a hearty and lengthy ovation for Durant.

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