Happy Kevin Durant Day in Phoenix!
Did you celebrate with a new pet tarantula (because Durantula should have stuck as KD's nickname)? How about a broomstick to celebrate our new skinny savior?
Or maybe you just celebrated by quietly counting down the hours until this fever dream turns into a basketball reality in Charlotte, North Carolina.
By now, you've had plenty of time to process what having Kevin Durant on the Suns means. We know it will mean a different version of the Suns that so many have fallen madly in love with the last two plus seasons. It also means the championship window is officially back open.
One of the more absurd reactions to the KD trade was the idea the Suns had mortgaged their future to acquire the 35 year old mega star. I'd argue with a new Suns owner in Mat Ishbia willing to do whatever it takes to win the future has never been brighter, regardless of how many picks are owed to the Nets.
There have been a lot of interesting reactions to the KD trade. He's one of the more polarizing athletes in modern NBA history.
I recently had a conversation with someone where we were talking about how KD and Devin Booker will fit on the court and this huge Suns fan said "Even with all his baggage, we know Durant loves to hoop so all should be good."
That got my wheels turning. Does Durant have baggage or has he just followed his own path?
We glorified Durant early in his career, pegging him as the single team, small market savior in Oklahoma City who along with Russell Westbrook were going to run the NBA for years.
When he broke up with Westbrook, most people took Westbrook's side. We viewed Durant as the selfish, weak teammate who dumped poor Russ. Now we know Russell Westbrook is not only one of the more difficult on court teammates in recent NBA history, his lack of a jump shot makes it almost impossible to win with him in the current NBA.
Durant was right to leave Westbrook no matter what we thought.
Then he joined the Warriors and was accused of being weak and incapable of leading his own team.
Then on a court with Lebron James and Steph Curry on the biggest stage the NBA has to offer, he bested everyone and won Finals MVP.
With a two rings under his belt, Durant was now free to pursue his NBA career as he saw fit, without having to worry about being the next Charles Barkley.
We've seen lots of NBA stars try to join forces with other NBA superstars to win a ring and very few have done so. Durant just did it better.
Again, Durant was right to join the Warriors.
Then he left the Warriors to join forces with Kyrie Irving, Steve Nash and later James Harden. Sure, some mistakes in judgement were made by Durant and injuries largely crushed any momentum the Nets ever hoped to develop but that doesn't mean he was wrong. When Harden wanted out, the Nets traded him for Ben Simmons and within a year, it was clear Simmons was never going to justify his max contract the Nets were now on the hook for paying.
So KD asked out. We were shocked. How selfish could one player be? How could be abandon Kyrie Irving? Six months later, Kyrie made his own trade demand and got his wish. Durant was soon to follow.
In hindsight, Durant knew as soon as Harden left that the Nets had no chance of winning a title, healthy or not. And he was right.
Now he chose the Suns. Some scoffed at the idea that the Suns were the right choice. They didn't have the bench. Chris Paul was too old. The West was too hard.
Now the Suns have Terrance Ross, TJ Warren and a healthy Cam Payne fortifying their bench along with an emerging Josh Okogie.
Kevin Durant chose the Suns because he believed Devin Booker was a kindred basketball spirit. He chose the Suns because Chris Paul is still the Point God. And he chose the Suns because he believes they can win a championship now that he's on board.
The rest of the NBA world thinks Kevin Durant is wrong...again.
You know how that's turned out the last decade.
I think Kevin Durant is always right and he is with the Suns too.