AP Photo/Gareth Patterson

Kerr: 'It's Nuts' Kevin Durant Hasn't Played in Front of Warriors Fans Since Leaving

Tyler Conway

Kevin Durant left Golden State in 2019, but a combination of injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented him from playing in front of Warriors fans since.

After the Phoenix Suns' visit to the Chase Center on Monday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it's "nuts" the organization hasn't been able to honor Durant due to circumstances.

"It is nuts," Kerr told reporters. "It is insane. It's been a while. It's been how many years? Four years? This is the fourth year? And we've always kind of anticipated his return, and we've always had a planned 'Welcome back' video to thank him for everything he did for this franchise, and then literally every game, something comes up, or as you said, the pandemic.

"I remember the one game he did play with Brooklyn with no fans here. So it's a shame because I think our fans would give him a lot of love, the applause and the energy he deserves for everything he did for us."

Durant is out of the lineup with an ankle sprain suffered in warmups last week. He missed a Jan. 22 game against the Warriors at Chase Center earlier this season because of a knee injury while he was still a member of the Nets.

Durant missed the entire 2019-20 campaign after a torn Achilles suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals, he sat out the February 2020 game between the two sides with a hamstring injury, fans were not yet allowed back in the arena for Brooklyn's trip to Golden State in 2020-21, and then he missed the Nets' game last season against his former team with a knee injury.

Durant played three seasons with the Warriors from 2016-2019, leading the team to three NBA Finals appearances and winning two Finals MVPs.


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