Kevin Durant noticed the irony as he left the Spectrum Center through a back hallway after a great debut with the Phoenix Suns.
For Kevin Durant, his first game with the Suns is just another opportunity to play basketball
On All-Star Sunday, when Kevin Durant was in his final season in Golden State and Kyrie Irving was still in Boston, Irving delivered Durant his elevator pitch to join him in Brooklyn.
Kevin Durant laughed and said the friends were laughing about something different. Even if it was, neither could have predicted their magnificent plan’s demise after appearing so promising.
Kevin Durant began another hopeful trip with championship aspirations and the apparent spotlight to validate as if he weren’t a two-time Finals MVP and champion. He must assist the Suns in returning to the Finals and avenging their 2021 six-game loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Kevin Durant breezed through the weakened Hornets Wednesday night. Easy. He blends. He’s universal. It may be his greatest talent. It may distinguish him from all other NBA superstars.
Kevin Durant scored 23 points and had six rebounds, two assists, and two blocked shots in the Suns’ 105-91 triumph. Durant was happy to break a sweat and return to competition after an MCL injury in early January sidelined him for several weeks. Finally, slowing down.
Kevin Durant told Yahoo Sports that “everything settled down” after moving to Phoenix. But it wouldn’t settle till I played. I need about a week. Mentally, I switched teams instantly. Never before. I’m trying to comprehend this.”
Uncounted, it’s a lot. After Brooklyn’s summer trade request, Kevin Durant and the Nets issued a joint statement promising to move ahead this season when no deal was possible.
After a disappointing start, Nets coach Steve Nash was fired. After performing well in January, Kevin Durant got hurt, and Irving, who had a rough start to the season on his own, was told by the Nets they wouldn’t talk about a contract extension until after the season, sources said.
Dallas received Irving’s trade request. Kevin Durant secretly asked out again to Nets management. He was traded to Phoenix, a squad that still had Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and experienced point guard, Chris Paul.
“I’m processing it. Durant called it a business. “I’ve been traded before. I don’t think my status in the league precludes me from experiencing what other players do.”
He said all the right things on media day in September and did all the wonderful Durant things on the floor during his remaining time in Brooklyn, but the reasons behind the initial trade request never changed. What did you think that was?” Durant posed to the press. during sessions. I was thinking about last year and this year—what are we doing for the future? Here. I signed the contract extension alone. Confusing. I’m relieved.”
James Harden was traded for Ben Simmons, a net negative. Irving’s future was uncertain. Playing poorly. KI desired trade. We weren’t getting much. I was trapped. My play showed my dedication to the group. What should I do? I’m nervous because I don’t know my teammates. We managed.”
Since the Nets required Irving to lead, Durant was criticized for his frequent indiscretions. Phoenix seems aware of such talk and doesn’t want Durant in a similar situation.
“I believe too many NBA players have too many leadership responsibilities,” said Suns head coach Monty Williams, who was Durant’s assistant in Oklahoma City during the 2015-16 season. It’s unnecessary. Leadership is mine. Some players do it. I only told him that. I said, “Don’t lead.” We want you to be yourself—where that’s he’s most free. himself.
“Chris. The book takes charge. Chris has always led well. Just be yourself, Durant. His work demonstrates leadership. It’s interesting to hear players and gymgoers comment on his workout. It’s unique. That had a big impact.”
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Kevin Durant rarely appears distracted during a game. Durant had some hard practices with his new teammates between being traded before All-Star weekend, Sunday’s game, and Wednesday before taking the floor. Like Irving, Booker’s 37-point, seven-assist, six-rebound night fascinated him. The Suns are thin, and Paul is slowing down after so many great seasons as a point guard.
Kevin Durant must lead the Suns through the West despite their weaknesses. This isn’t the Golden State super-club everyone thought he had, nor is it the Brooklyn team that kept tripping over itself. Not ideal. Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal can be silenced by Durant’s desert labor. They’re NBA legends, TNT commentators, and old-school guardians.
Durant spoke attentively to the team bus. “These men are… but…” Unfair?
And they’re telling me, ‘Play with Scoot Henderson, win a championship, and then we’ll give you credit,'” Durant told Yahoo Sports. I don’t care if Barkley, Shaq, or any of you guys give me credit. If you don’t rock, don’t watch me play. I’ll continue. Everyone has opinions, man. I’ll keep playing.
I don’t coach teams. We handle everything collectively. Coach Monty leads. GMs form teams. I must hoop. My job.”
After greeting fans in the loading dock, Durant smiled and posed for selfies on the bus, laughing when one commented, “You looked terrific out there,” as if he expected to perform poorly.
He was asked one last time if he regretted the extension that seemed to tie him into this unneeded problem instead of going into free agency again and choosing his position.
No regrets. “I regret nothing,” Kevin Durant remarked. “Not signing an extension worth that much?”
He laughed again—blissfully dismissive but realistic.
Kevin Durant scores 1st bucket with the Suns (Video) Watch Now
Has Kevin Durant won any MVP awards?
Yes, Kevin Durant has won the NBA MVP award once, in the 2013-2014 season while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.