Assuming his ankle is healthy enough, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant will play against his former Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, but Durant says this time is a bit different from his previous trip back to the city where he played for eight seasons.
Durant has played only once in OKC since his controversial decision to join the Warriors back in the summer of 2016 (he sat out the second game between the two teams last March), and the fans let him have it with a chorus of boos and cupcake signs. Last year KD admitted that returning to Oklahoma City was "never going to be a regular game," because of his history with the franchise and his former running mate, Russell Westbrook.
But on the eve of Durant's latest homecoming, he's singing a different tune.
"Just a regular game for me now," Durant said on Tuesday. "I learned how to tune out the crowd. I learned how to tune out the bulls--- and just play. Just keep at basketball, and I'll be alright."
Durant has performed spectacularly against his former team, averaging 37.7 points per game in three Warriors wins, including 34 in his only game in OKC last season.
More pressing for the Warriors than Durant's mental state is the health of his left ankle. He sat out Sunday's win in Brooklyn and the team officially lists him as questionable for Wednesday, but Anthony Slater of The Athletic reports that Durant went through a full practice on Tuesday and is "very likely" to play.
The Warriors head into the game at 13-4, tied with the Houston Rockets for the best record in the Western Conference. Meanwhile the Thunder's new star-laden lineup has struggled out of the gate, posting a record of 7-9 while sputtering in close games.