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Warriors vs. Kings: Welcome back, Harrison Barnes!

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The Warriors will face the Kings tonight for the first time since Harrison Barnes was traded back to the Pacific Division.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

So ... I was against the very thought of the Golden State Warriors drafting Harrison Barnes in 2012 well before draft day for reasons that I won’t bother elaborating on now.

Nevertheless, by the end of his tenure in Oakland, I was able to acknowledge some of his strengths and at least appreciate his role on the first Warriors team to win a title in my lifetime.

Those strengths did not include being the high-usage scorer and playmaker that the Dallas Mavericks sought to cast him as. Yet I do think he could be a fit for this Sacramento Kings team and I’m actually looking forward to seeing how he continues to develop. And as the Kings continue to rise as a young, talented and surprisingly competitive team in the Pacific Division, I actually think it’s kinda cool to have Barnes back in Northern California.

Will it ever be the rivalry that’s sort of alluded to in Cameron Magruder’s (funny) video? I mean, probably not.

But if familiarity adds passion to a rivalry and Barnes sets his mind on proving his worth when he plays the Warriors, maybe this could be a little more fun. And if a rivalry can’t start until something is actually on the line, it looks like the Kings and Warriors could get a jumpstart as soon as this year’s playoffs if the Kings continue to rise in the standings.

Anyway, one of the cool things about this Steph Curry led iteration of the Warriors is that there seems to be a feeling of family and Barnes was reportedly welcomed back to Oracle in his new threads with open arms.

Maybe this time he won’t dribble it off his foot if he has a chance to hit a game-winner.

Feel free to leave all your comments on the matchup and the game as it happens in the comments below.