OAKLAND — As Kevin Durant eyed an NBA future, he, like the rest of the NBA world, was transfixed when Baron Davis dunked on Andrei Kirilenko in the 2007 Western Conference Semifinals.
The Warriors, of course, had just beaten the Dallas Mavericks, becoming the first No. 8 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in NBA playoffs history. One series later, the Warriors went down 2-0 to the Utah Jazz. In Game 3, Davis lifted the Warriors to their first and only win of the series in front of a deafening Oakland crowd.
The play everyone remembers from that game is the play that is synonymous with Davis’ career.
On Tuesday night, prior to the Warriors’ 115-108 win over the visiting Utah Jazz, Warriors players wore shirts commemorating that dunk. It was Baron Davis bobblehead night at Oracle Arena.
"We Believe" @Warriors.
— NBA (@NBA) February 13, 2019
After the win, Durant recounted his experience watching that dunk in the summer before the Seattle Sonics drafted him No. 2 overall.
“To see the energy in the building through the TV was phenomenal,” Durant said postgame Tuesday. “That was such a huge upset that everybody was in front of the TV everywhere I went, watching those games. Baron Davis, that play is going to be remembered here in the Bay Area forever.”
Times were different then. Before the Warriors routinely won NBA titles, their most iconic playoff series win came with the designation of an upset. The “We Believe” Warriors endeared themselves to fans everywhere, including Durant. He said he was aware of that Warriors squad long before Davis’ iconic dunk.
“No, I have been an NBA fan for a long time before them,” Durant said. “But they had some goons on that team that I really enjoyed, from Baron Davis to Matt Barnes to Stephen Jackson to (Andris) Biedrins to Al Harrington. They had some good players on that team, so I watched them a lot. But that play, Baron Davis was kind of the head of the snake here.”