OAKLAND, Calif. -- New Warriors addition Kevin Durant emerged from the tunnel to a hearty cheer from the Oracle Arena crowd as he came out for his pregame warm-up ahead of Tuesday's Team USA exhibition game.
Durant completed his first shooting routine in Oakland -- a workmanlike two-man game between himself and Team USA assistant Monty Williams -- and sauntered over to the crowd hanging over the tunnel. One fan held up a sign proclaiming "KD is NOT the VILLAIN." Just to the left of the placard, Durant autographed a new Warriors home jersey bearing his name.
Just before tipoff, Golden State's star triumvirate of Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson took center court, with Green on the mic. Green, the most vocal Warrior, exhorted the crowd to welcome KD, and they happily obliged.
"They know that decision I made, how stressful that time was," Durant said of his new teammates. "Just trying to make me feel comfortable, and I appreciate them for that, and it's just a testament to who they are as people -- being great teammates already, man. So I'm looking forward to a great season."
The crowd roared for more than 15 seconds, before finally getting interrupted by DeAndre Jordan's name ringing out over the speakers.
"It felt a little weird for these fans to be cheering me on like that," Durant said of the reception. "Obviously, being somewhere for so long and then making the change, but it felt great. I appreciate all the basketball fans who come and enjoy us playing.
"It was cool, man. It was different. Obviously, it's going to be different. The vibes were great, everybody showed me major love, showed the team major love, so it was fun."
The Oracle fans gave equally spirited cheers for Green and Thompson as they took the floor. Durant will be a media fixation this season, but it's a level of attention his new teammates have grown accustomed to.
"We were under a microscope all of last year," said current Golden State assistant coach and former Thunder assistant Ron Adams, as he watched from the sidelines. "It's nothing new."
Durant reiterated that he's just going to "be myself," and said he feels the Warriors will accept him for the player he is.
"I'll just stick with what I always know and how I do things," he said. "It feels like they got different personalities. Draymond stays who he is, Klay stays who he is, Steph [Curry], Dre [Iguodala], Shaun [Livingston].
"They have different personalities, but it works well, because they understand each other. Just add another guy in there."
Durant cemented his debut on the Warriors' home floor by hitting a quick 3-pointer on the game's opening possession, followed soon after by an uncontested dunk. He finished with 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting in a 107-57 win over China.
"I didn't lose sleep over today," Durant said. "I just wanted to be myself, do my normal routine. Kyrie [Irving] being such a great guy he is, he told me before the tip that he was throwing it to me no matter what, and I knew I was going to pull the first shot since like yesterday. Luckily it went in."
After watching Durant nail a 3 within the first seven seconds of Tuesday's game, Thompson had this to say about his new teammate: "This could be a problem [for the league]."