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Kevin Durant, NaVorro Bowman talk about playing basketball together in middle school

The Warriors and Cavaliers get going Thursday evening, so why not a 49ers-Warriors story?

The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers kick off the 2017 NBA Finals Thursday evening, with Game 1 tipping off at 6 p.m. PT on ABC. Feel free to use this as an open thread for the game.

There’s an interesting 49ers-Warriors connection heading into the game. Way back in the day, NaVorro Bowman and Kevin Durant attended middle school together in Maryland at Drew Freeman Middle School. They were on the basketball team, and Bowman apparently was a pretty solid player. Earlier this week, he told AP reporter Janie McCauley that when they were playing together, he had to encourage Durant to shoot more.

During a media session earlier this week, Durant said that back then he just wanted to please his teammates. He would pass up shots to get somebody else a look, and it led to him not being overly aggressive. He said that Bowman shoed the kind of leader he was, recognizing Durant’s talent and encouraging him to be more aggressive on the court.

You can watch more of what Durant had to say in the video below. I realize not everybody here is a Warriors fan, but this should still be a fun series regardless of your fandom. It’s the third straight year these two teams have square off, but they remain the two best teams in the league. The rubber match makes sense!