Kevin Durant was formally introduced as the newest member of the Phoenix Suns on Thursday. While the NBA superstar was asked plenty of questions about his new team’s potential, he was also asked what went wrong with the Brooklyn Nets, who traded him last week after also trading away Kyrie Irving.
Durant, Irving, and James Harden were supposed to be the Big 3 that brought multiple championships to the Nets. Instead, thanks to injuries, bad blood, the pandemic, and other issues, their time together was a mess that ended without much to show for it.
“It was a lot of ups and downs, but I loved the grind. Everybody in Brooklyn loved the grind, too. So I built a family over there,” Durant told reporters. “They’re going to always be a part of my journey.
“We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to accomplish as far as winning a championship. … Everybody there, we tried our hardest every day regardless of what was going on in the media, what was going on with our teammates. Everybody who was in that gym, we grinded. I love those guys. I get emotional talking about it.”
Without being specific, he added, “It was terrible how some stuff went down.”
Durant did add that he was bothered by how the Kyrie trade went down because he felt like the team was finally getting momentum before Irving forced his way out of town to Dallas.
“I was upset that we couldn’t finish,” said Durant. “I thought we had some good momentum. We were finally building the culture that we always wanted. I felt like every game we were building our chemistry.
“That [trade request] was tough for me to stomach. I loved playing with those guys throughout the year. I felt like we had dudes that were stepping up.”
While it sounds like there might be some bitterness there between Durant and Irving, it also sounds like it’s time to look forward. And the good news for Durant is that the Suns are primed to win the title that eluded him in Brooklyn.