The Brooklyn Nets welcomed Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant back to the Barclays Center with a tribute video before their game on Wednesday – despite his pleas for them not to!
Durant spent three and a half seasons on the Nets roster before being traded to the Suns just before last season’s trade deadline.
His first season in Brooklyn was spent recovering from a torn Achilles that he suffered while playing with the Golden State Warriors before signing with the Nets.
Leading up to the game Durant had asked the Nets not to honor him with a tribute video, but the team clearly did not listen to his request and pushed on with their plans.
The Nets played the tribute video just before Durant’s name was called during lineup introductions, which has become the customary time to play such videos around the league.
The Brooklyn Nets honored Kevin Durant with a tribute video before playing the Phoenix Suns
Durant kept a stoic expression during the tribute and had asked the team not to give him one
Durant’s time with the Nets ended with one playoff series win and two trade requests
Durant is well-known for rarely showing emotion and kept a stoic expression as he seemed unmoved by the video – before dapping up his teammates after the PA announcer said his name.
When discussing why he didn’t want the Nets to give him a tribute video Durant told AZCentral’s Duane Rankin: ‘I wasn’t there long enough. Me and the fans didn’t connect enough for me to feel like a part of them. That’s just my thoughts.’
He did still mention that he was ‘excited‘ to go back to Brooklyn.
Durant’s Nets tenure reached its high point when the trio of himself, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden led the Nets to seven games vs. the eventual-champion Bucks in the second round of the 2021 playoffs, and things only got worse after his outstanding performances of 49 and 48 points in Games 5 and 7.
At the time, many fans made the argument that had Durant’s feet been one shoe size smaller the Nets would have won that playoff series after a crucial shot had been ruled a two pointer instead of a three pointer after his foot had touched the 3-point line by a matter of inches.