Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant is in his third uniform since leaving Oklahoma City. No matter the colors he has on his jersey, it hasn’t changed how Thunder fans view him since that fateful day in 2016.
The Thunder faithful reminded KD of how they felt about him with some hearty boos during the Suns’ pregame intros:
Kevin Durant still getting boo’d in OKC pic.twitter.com/NYgzDtTBm9
— Andrew Schlecht (@AndrewKSchlecht) April 2, 2023
Durant was asked about it after the 128-118 Suns win, explaining that his sentiments have evolved since the early years following his departure.
“I understand it,” he said after the game. “I meant so much to this community and just for me to leave like that. Early on, I didn’t get it. But I get that an NBA team is a part of your community, players so entrenched in your community.”
“There was more love this time than there has been in the past,” the Suns star followed up. “I’m just focused on that. I’ve had so many great memories here, so many people I’ve met that have just changed my life. I’ll forever be grateful to be a part of this organization.”
“I understand it. I meant so much to this community and just for me to leave like that. Early on, I didn’t get it.”
Kevin Durant on getting booed in return to OKC. Left for Golden State after 2015-16 season.
“There was more love this time than there has been in the past.” #Suns pic.twitter.com/wukPAmFDWf
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) April 3, 2023
While Durant shared his soft spot for Thunder fans, he didn’t relent during his clash against OKC on the court. He poured in 35 points, including three massive three-pointers in the fourth quarter that quelled any momentum the Thunder tried to build to mount a comeback.
The Suns are clinging to the fourth spot in the West for homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. There may be a few teams ahead of them in the standings, but no team in the conference is likely to be favored against them when Kevin Durant is playing in top form.
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