Kevin Durant played in his first game that actually counted since tearing his Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals on Tuesday night. If that wasn't enough to get the butterflies going, surely the fact that he was going up against the team that he played for in that very same Finals series would add another layer to the emotions he felt upon taking the court.
Apparently not. After his Brooklyn Nets cruised to a 125-99 win over the Warriors in the first game of the 2020-21 NBA season, Durant spoke with the "Inside the NBA" crew and revealed that it wasn't anything more than another game for him.
"No emotions at all," Durant told TNT's Ernie Johnson. "It's good to see old friends and old teammates, but I wouldn't say there was any emotion. I think guys came out here and just played extremely hard and competed and put on a good show for the opening night."
We'll have to take Durant at his word, and he certainly did appear rather carefree playing against Golden State. Perhaps that had something to do with the fact that he looked just like his former superstar self, no worse for the wear after his recovery from one of the worst injuries a basketball player can sustain.
Durant scored 22 points in 25 minutes, while adding five rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block. He was a dominant force on both ends of the court and formed a potent combination with point guard Kyrie Irving.
When asked what it was like to be facing Durant again -- for the first time since the 2016 Western Conference finals -- Steph Curry had a one-word response.
Yep, it was more fun for the Warriors when Durant was on their team. That said, there's no bitterness from either side. Durant might not have been very emotional Tuesday night, but for his former teammates and Warriors fans who went through the highest of highs and the lowest of his lows with him, watching him resume his status as one of the best players on the planet had to be somewhat sentimental, even if it was at their expense.