Kevin Durant flat in first Warriors appearance

While only an exhibition game, with the 2016-2017 NBA season still a month and change away, fans got a first taste of the most anticipated event, and the most talked about buzz around the league since the Cavaliers broke the Cleveland curse and won their first championship last June.

For the first time ever, Kevin Durant took the floor alongside his All-Star teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in an exhibition game against the Toronto Raptors at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia. The contest ended with the Toronto Raptors besting the Golden State Warriors by a final box score of 97-93, with Kevin Durant putting in 9 points in his debut.

Thompson was the only All-Star to score in double figures for Golden State, putting in 16 points on 5/13 shooting from the field in the loss.

Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors rusty?

While there has been a trend over the last ten years or so in the NBA of All-Star players banding together to chase championships -- think the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics that featured the likes of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen still relatively in their prime, or, more recently, the Miami Heat squad that featured LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh -- there has also been recent backlash against said trend, with Hall of Fame players like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird commenting on the fact that, in their era, they wanted to beat the best, not join them.

Having said that, that definitely is the formula in today's game, where loyalty to one team takes a backseat to chasing rings, and, for better or worse, the Celtics and Heat both won rings, so you can't really argue with the results. Still, it's likely that this first loss by the Golden State Warriors is simply a matter of the All-Star roster not yet having the time to gel and work out the kinks necessary to once again become a well-oiled and championship-chasing machine.

Odds are good that the team will come together and work things out. Whether or not they ultimately win another ring remains to be seen, however, there is no denying the fact that even with a rusty Kevin Durant, Golden State is still a top contender for the title.

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