The NBA dropped a morsel of information about the 2023-24 season on Thursday afternoon, with news that opening night on October 24th would feature the Phoenix Suns facing the Golden State Warriors, and the Los Angeles Lakers playing the Denver Nuggets.
Two matchups that certainly excite, with the Lakers and Nuggets a repeat of last season’s Western Conference Finals, and the links between the Suns and Warriors obvious at this point. Fans of Eastern Conference teams like the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat can feel aggrieved however, that they won’t be taking part in the curtain raiser.
The game between the Suns and the Warriors, which takes place in San Francisco, is going to be appointment television, for a host of reasons.
While many feel the title window of the Warriors is beginning to close, the Suns propped theirs up for years to come yet this offseason by adding Bradley Beal, as well as a whole host of help to shore up their rotation.
The Nuggets may be the defending champions, and the Lakers have had a nice summer themselves in how they’ve recruited. But this is a chance for the Suns and Warriors to both lay down a marker in a Western Conference that is going to be as competitive as ever at the top of the standings.
3. The return of Durant to The Bay
The relationship between Durant and the Warriors is now — mostly fine. Despite winning two championships with the franchise, and being named finals MVP on both occasions as well, Durant left the organization under a dark cloud. One that was caused in large part by an argument with Draymond Green that the whole world saw.
Nowadays Durant and Green can be seen enjoying some FIBA summer ball together, and it is all water under the bridge. But given how Durant also tore his achilles in the 2019 finals and was never seen there again in their uniform, this is the perfect opportunity for him to show his former team what they’re missing.
On the other side is point guard Stephen Curry, the superstar who never minded sharing the spotlight, and was totally fine with Durant winning those finals MVPs instead of him. Only this has always been Curry’s city, and he knows it. The fact he isn’t vocal about it, shows just how comfortable he is as the face of the Warriors. A position that has never been under threat.
But you can be sure he is going to come out and give Durant both barrels on opening night. To the point where Durant may guard him on certain possessions, just to prove a point. Durant’s career detour to the Brooklyn Nets was a strange one, but he has found himself on another Western Conference superpower, ready to finish out his prime battling the team he won it all with.