The Jamal Crawford Pro-Am was created as an “All Hoop, No Hype” league back in 1996 as the Seattle Pro-Am. The players have changed, and the league has grown but the purpose remains the same: to unite the best players at nearly every level in a competitive summer basketball league in Seattle. This summer, Crawford had a special treat in store. He brought Kevin Durant back to Seattle, the city where his NBA career began.
Seattle fans have a unique love for Durant, who only played for the Seattle SuperSonics for his rookie season. The following year, the team was sold and moved to Oklahoma City. Durant became the superstar everyone expected, but in the wrong city and for the wrong team. But Sonics fans remember the star power Durant possessed, and the unbridled athleticism. They remember the anticipation of what could have been and what never was. The team moved and the city of Seattle changed that year. Gone were the Sonics and gone was an NBA team in a city filled with a rich basketball legacy.
That was the last time Durant had played basketball in Seattle until this summer when Crawford brought him back to play in the Pro-Am league. Durant put up a flashy 63 points in his appearance, to the delight of fans. Though it took 62 shots to do so. He was a meager 8 of 32 from beyond the arc and made just 26 shots overall. The fans didn’t care, they were just happy to see Durant back in their city. Durant was equally pleased to return to Seattle and tweeted several messages to his fans.
“I love and miss Seattle…damn.”
“Thanks to my brother @JCrossover (Crawford) or bringing me out and showing me so much love! Seattle will always have a place in my heart!! Love u all.”
Following the game, Durant gave his Seattle fans another treat, posing for pictures and signing autographs. Seattle may not have an NBA team, but they embrace their own and Durant will always be welcome in the Emerald City.
Photo Credit: Noah Gram / Getty Images
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