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Kevin Durant unsure of reception he’ll receive in Brooklyn

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant has had many return games in his career, and in most of them, he has been met with boos.

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Tonight, he returns to Brooklyn, where the Nets and him had a complicated three-and-a-half years, to say the least. Durant was traded to the Phoenix Suns just a little under a year ago on Feb. 8, 2023, bringing an abrupt end to his Nets’ career.

Primarily for the fact that the Nets did not win anything with Durant and his public trade requests during the situation, Durant has already made it known he does not want a tribute video.

So how will fans greet Durant when he returns?

”It just depends on how people wake up that morning,” Durant said. “A lot of people don’t know what to say, or how to feel about me. It’s up in the air what may happen.”

Durant signed with the Nets on June 30, 2019 along with Kyrie Irving. He got to Brooklyn by way of a sign-and-trade, four-year, $164 million deal that sent D’Angelo Russell to Golden State.

After missing one whole season recovering from an Achilles tear suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals, Durant ended having played 129 regular season games with Brooklyn, averaging 29.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists in these contest.

Overall, Durant is looking forward to the matchup.

“I’m excited, it’s always fun playing in Brooklyn, always fun playing in New York,” Durant said. “Can’t wait to see some of the people that I worked with, that I got to know over the last four years. New York City has become my favorite city in the world just from me living there for four years. I miss it a lot. I’ve built a lot of bonds and relationships with the people that actually work within the organization. Still talk to this day. I can’t wait to play in front of that crowd again and see all of my friends and family out there.”

(Video credit to AZ Central’s Duane Rankin)

Durant further expanded on his time in Brooklyn.

“I know people won’t believe it, but there was some fun, fun times playing there,” Durant said. “Hopefully, people can look at some of the great moments we had there … People who follow the Brooklyn Nets, they understood what we went through and those little moments that we had and shared as a team that the fans rallied around.”

Suns teammates weigh in on Durant’s return

Here’s what Devin Booker and Eric Gordon said about Durant’s return game to Brooklyn:

Booker: “It should be love, man. He was playing at an extremely high level there. No matter what he says or how short his stint was there, I know he impacted and changed people’s lives there forever and the organization. He should be welcomed as such.”

Gordon: “It’s going to be interesting. He’s had a great career for sure. In Brooklyn, I know they had high expectations, and he did well there. He’s been through a lot, James (Harden) was there, Kyrie was there. They got to praise him because he didn’t have to go there, and he went there and made things happen. They should be praising him.”

So how well Nets’ fans end up welcoming Durant? Tonight’s action tips off at 6:30 p.m. MST.

Kevin Durant says he doesn’t want tribute video from Nets

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau


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