Basketball fans in Seattle seem to think that there’s some sort of special connection between them and Kevin Durant because he played his rookie year for the Supersonics before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, becoming the Thunder. His appearance in a Seattle Pro-Am game, his first in the City since 2008, generated the same false hopes that the NBA and Kings’ owners did not too long ago.

Durant played in the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am and ended up scoring 63 points while taking 62 shots, maybe learning from Russell Westbrook on how to ignore teammates. Durant later spoke to 3000 fans in the small gym arena, as his team lost 147-141 to Jamal Crawford’s team.

Durant finished with only 26 of 62, most of those points coming from dunks as he was usually matched up against Martell Webster but also against high schoolers like Shaqquan Aaron. He went only 8-of-32 from beyond the arc, but he felt like he was playing in front of home fans or something similar he couldn’t disappoint.

Kevin Durant Sonics Hat

I just want to say I miss you guys. Thank you for the warm welcome. I can’t wait to come back.

Maybe it was true, or maybe he was just pampering to the crowd. It didn’t really matter because he got the applause he was looking for. After the game he tweeted Thanks to my brother @JCrossover for bringing me out and showing me so much love! Seattle will always have a place in my heart!! Love u all.

While there are more players lined up to make appearances in the Summer League including Blake Griffin, Durant is undoubtedly the highest profile of them, not to mention the one with the strongest link to the city and the former team. He has been seen in the past wearing Sonics’ hats, including once during the most recent NBA playoffs. Maybe his heart does, in some way, still feel a lot for the fans that were crushed when he, along with the franchise, were relocated to Oklahoma.

He reached out to me to come perform before in front of you guys. He loves Seattle. He took his own jet. He spent a lot of money to come up here and perform in front of you guys.