The 2023-24 NBA season is just a couple of months away and the schedule is slowly coming into shape. Last year, the NBA gave us one hell of a fixture on opening night when the Golden State Warriors played against the Los Angeles Lakers. That meant LeBron James and Co. had to witness Stephen Curry receive his 4th ring as well.
This year, King James will be facing the Denver Nuggets on opening night. Once again, he will be seeing Nikola Jokic wear his championship ring for the first time. This has certainly led fans to speculate that the NBA might be trying to send a message, and some have even backed James to get redemption.
𝘽𝙍𝙀𝘼𝙆𝙄𝙉𝙂: Lakers will play the Suns on Oct. 26. 🔥
That means LeBron James & Kevin Durant (if available) will face off for the first time since 2018. 😲
— Digits Hoops (🏀,📊) (@Digits3Hoops) August 11, 2023
With that said, that’s not the only fixture that the NBA world is excited for. Recent reports say LeBron will also face Kevin Durant for the first time since December 2018. They played against each other on Christmas that year.
What happened when LeBron James and Kevin Durant faced off in 2018?
Kevin Durant was a Golden State Warriors the last time he set foot on the court as an opponent to LeBron. That was after he won the title two years in a row at The Bay. That year, the Toronto Raptors got the better of the Warriors in the final, and so did the Lakers on Christmas Day. LeBron James put up an impressive double-double, with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Kyle Kuzma was also one of the standout performers for the 17x champs, making 19 points and 6 assists. For the Warriors, Klay Thompson had rather an off night, after making just 5 points in 33 minutes played. KD was the best GSW player on the floor, with 21 points, 7 assists, and rebounds each. Surprisingly, Stephen Curry managed to make just 15 points that game, with Andre Iguodala showing up with 23 points.
Despite losing to the Lakers, the Warriors did well to get back on track to make it to the finals. However, the Raptors proved to be too strong and energized for an injury-plagued Warriors side. Moreover, the Warriors looked tired and burned out throughout the entire series against the Raptors.
Ultimately, KD left for the Brooklyn Nets the next season. He mentioned later on that the Warriors were not where he wanted to play, and that he was after a new system. However, even New York didn’t seem to work out best for the 2x NBA champion, after which he joined the Phoenix Suns. His career since leaving the Warriors has rather been plagued with injuries, which is one of the reasons it’s been a while he faced LeBron.
Regardless, it will be exciting for fans to witness KD step out against LeBron in a new team. The Suns have recently traded for Bradley Beal, and have also sent Chris Paul to the Golden State Warriors. It has been a revamp in Arizona, and the NBA world is waiting to see what former Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has on his mind.