According to league sources, the opening chapter in Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant's competitive saga will emanate November 3 from Oracle Arena. While the former All-NBA teammates will meet three times this upcoming season, OKC fans must wait until February 11 to witness Durant's Chesapeake Energy Arena return, per ESPN's Marc Stein.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Thunder's first home date of the season against Durant and the Warriors has been provisionally earmarked for Feb. 11, although changes can still be made before the league officially releases the entire 2016-17 schedule, which is expected to happen within the next week.
Additionally, in 16'-17' Golden State is expected to compete in Oklahoma City twice. The final regular-season meeting between 2016's Western Conference Finalists is slated for March 20. These dates are to be confirmed when the NBA announces its upcoming regular-season schedule.
Already embroiled in a blistering rivalry, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors' caustic narrative reached a roiling climax as Durant spurned OKC via free-agency for a Warriors team that eliminated the Thunder one game shy of a second NBA Finals appearance.
With Durant now reviled throughout Oklahoma, Russell Westbrook's August 4 re-signing with OKC lends a palpable realism to the "good vs. evil" motif surrounding each franchise-defining talent.
When asked if the 2014 NBA MVP contacted him concerning his departure a jilted Westbrook responded:
"Like y'all found out, on the news, on the cell phones, the social media. I talked to Kevin early on in the process. But nothing after. Just a text message from him, that's about it."
Undoubtedly, upon Kevin Durant and his maligned "superteam's" visit to Oklahoma City in February, there will be no shortage of rancor directed his way from the city he claimed to have raised him.