Kevin Durant’s debut with the Phoenix Suns finally has a date, as he is expected to return to the field on Wednesday to face the Charlotte Hornets.
Durant has been dealing with a right MCL knee sprain, which he suffered on Jan. 8. But, after a two-hour practice, the team is confident that Durant has no restrictions and is good at playing a game with his new teammates.
The Brooklyn Nets traded Durant to the Suns, per his request, after trading Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks, effectively ending his rollercoaster tenure in the Big Apple.
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At his introductory news conference as the newest member of the Suns, Durant got a little emotional when talking about his four years in Brooklyn.
«It was a lot of ups and downs, but I love the grind. Everybody in Brooklyn loves the grind too. I raised a family there,» Durant said. «They will always be a part of my journey. We didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve as far as winning a championship, but I enjoy the routine. And everyone there, we did our best every day, regardless of what was going on in the media, what It was going on with our teammates, everyone that was in that gym, we ground. I love those guys.»
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«I get emotional talking about it because it was a special four years of my career, coming out of an Achilles tendon,» he added. «They helped me a lot. It was terrible how some things happened, but at the end of the day, I love the grind, we all love the grind there in Brooklyn, and I wish them the best in the future. They got a bright future.»
Durant and Irving signed with the Nets before the 2019-20 season, despite the former dealing with his Achilles tendon injury, as he mentioned.
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Durant missed his entire freshman year but returned for three straight All-Star seasons, including this year in which he averaged 29.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 39 contests.
Like the Nets when Durant was traded, the Suns own the fourth seed in the Western Conference, a couple of games behind the third-seeded Sacramento Kings and just a half-game better than the Los Angeles Clippers.
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Phoenix hopes to bridge that gap and move up the ranks with Durant’s addition of Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton.