We don’t yet have a schedule for the 2023-24 NBA season, but we do know what the Opening Night slate will be. And it should come as no surprise whatsoever that the Golden State Warriors are a part of it.
My, my, my. Isn’t that juicy?
Forgetting the drama for a second, the Suns and Warriors should put on one helluva show. They project as two of the top teams in the Western Conference, with two MVP candidates and a combined eight players who have been All-Stars within the last two seasons.
But there’s also drama. The Warriors big addition this offseason, 12-time All-Star Chris Paul, will spend his first day as a Warrior facing the team he just spent three years playing for. Not only that, but he’ll square off against Bradley Beal, the All-Star that the Suns swapped him for.
It’s been a long time since Kevin Durant was piling up wins with the Warriors, but it’s still notable when he plays them, especially since his hot-and-cold relationship with Draymond Green has resurfaced in the news cycle lately. Also, due to injuries, trades, and the pandemic, Opening Night will be — shockingly — the first time that Durant plays at Chase Center in front of fans, assuming he’s healthy (which we all hope he is).
On top of that, we have the half-hearted rivalry between Klay Thompson and Devin Booker, which the latter threw water on during the season, and the former threw water on a few days ago. Don’t expect anything to come of that, but it sure is fun watching those two sharpshooters go at each other.
And just for good measure, we have Steph Curry against his brother-in-law and former teammate, Damion Lee, while Dario Šarić gets to start his revenge tour against the team that gave up on him halfway through the season. All while the Warriors have their first chance to incorporate Paul into an offense that already has a star point guard, while the Suns try to incorporate Beal into an offense that already has two ball-dominant, perimeter-oriented offensive juggernauts.
This is gonna be fun.
The NBA is apparently loving the Western Conference right now, because the two-game Opening Day slate features the four teams that most people expect to be at the top of the West. The other game is Nikola Jokić’s Denver Nuggets against LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers in a rematch of the 2023 Western Conference Finals. As is customary, the defending-champion Nuggets will be at home to raise their banner and present their rings.
It’s the fourth year in a row that the Dubs are playing on Opening Night, and the eighth time in the last nine seasons.