Exhausted from every bit of scrutiny and backlash, Kevin Durant quietly approached the Brooklyn Nets front office and re-requested out following the conclusion of 7/11, after Kyrie Irving withdrew first. Seeking the likable stars, long-time friends and style of basketball, KD wanted to go to the Phoenix Suns. Joe Tsai and Sean Marks helped it come about.
On February 9 at 1:05 a.m., ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski created probably the craziest shake of a timeline that one may ever encounter near a trade deadline.
As if the James Harden-Ben Simmons extravaganza in the middle of the 2021 season was not enough . This topped that by a mile. Not for nothing, knowing he was still rehabbing for a few before he could make his debut. The excitement was like nothing anyone ever witnessed.
The World Is Ready for Kevin Durant’s New Chapter
"“The excitement is palpable with Kevin’s arrival. Not just within the organization, but around the city. It feels really like a college town right now when you land the big recruit, and then he shows up, and everybody’s like, ‘oh my gosh. I can’t believe this actually happened.'” – ESPN’s Nick Friedell on SportsCenter on Feb. 16."
Friedell continued to describe the carry-over emtion that has been lingering for Phoenix.
"“I was talking to Chris Paul the other night, he said, ‘I have known Kevin for over 20 years, and I still can’t believe this is happening.’ He said his advice to Devin Booker was to say, ‘ Do not take this for granted, enjoy this moment.’ Having been around Kevin a few years, I think he’s enjoying the change of scenery. He was walking around getting the lay of the land here in the arena the other night, but he’s just smiling. And you see fans responding to him.”"
You can tell, even from one of ESPN’s best in the business, that this was unusual by all means. Certainly, with one of the best players in the history of the game being moved midseason as a missing link for the Suns.
“We’re standing there the other night after that [Sacramento] Kings game, and it was like people saw Bigfoot,” Friedell added. “They’re pointing at him, they’re going, ‘That’s KD.’ I think that fans and new teammates alike are still saying, ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening.'”
Just as the world would expect, not only did KD look like an imaginable seamless fit, but he naturally looked like he never missed a beat.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in the NBA,” Friedell said. “It feels like a college pep rally.”