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Brooklyn fumbled the bag when they mismanaged an All-Star Big 3 made up of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.
With a collective 17 games played together and no playoff success to show for it, Joe Tsai’s experiment quickly crumbled.
Last week the final nail in the coffin for the Nets Big 3 arrived when KD was sent to Phoenix in a league-shattering trade to the Suns.
Durant was introduced to the team during a media session on Thursday.
When asked about his time in New York and the misstep in his career from teaming up with Harden and Irving, the 13-time All-Star got emotional thinking about the Nets tenure.
“I built a family over there,” Durant told a reporter that asked about Brooklyn, only to get flooded with boos by the rest of the Phoenix media and fans.
But KD remained sincere. “They gon’ always be a part of my journey.”
Brooklyn traded Harden early in 2022 to the Philadelphia 76ers as the lack of direction and coaching from the Nets drove him away.
Then Kyrie Irving was traded on Feb. 6, days after requesting a trade following failed contract extension talks.
After Irving’s departure, the stay in Brooklyn appeared bleak for Kevin Durant. Despite signing for a four-year deal in 2021, Durant was already on a new time by the 2022-23 NBA deadline.
“I love those guys,” Durant added, getting choked up at the thought of playing with Harden and Irving. “I get emotional talking about ’em because that was a special four years of my career, coming off an Achilles [injury] and they helped me a lot.”
“It was amazing basketball for 17 games,” Durant said, getting a laugh from the audience. “In order for you to win a championship and to be a great team, you just need more time on the floor.”
Now, Kevin Durant has a new shot at winning another NBA Finals with the help of Devin Booker, Chris Paul Deandre Ayton and Torrey Craig. KD is expected to return from his MCL sprain after the All-Star break.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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