Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant is expected to give the team perhaps the push it needs to win its first-ever championship.
He was traded to the team for beloved forwards Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder along with a whopping four first-round picks and a pick swap in 2028, which showed how much the team was invested to win now.
Durant seems to feel the same way. He told Suns fans in his introductory press conference he wants to prove himself, even though he is a two-time champion.
But according to an interview with The Athletic, Durant said he is no longer focused on his legacy but how his team can maximize itself every day.
“I used to,” Durant said. “I used to want to carve out a lane or space in this game for myself that people can remember, but it’s become too much of a thing now. It just becomes too much of a focus on other people.
“Nowadays, I truly, truly don’t care.”
Durant has expressed the same demeanor in press conferences with the Suns since he was traded. After the team’s 107-100 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night, he spoke about how he is looking to continue to build with his team. He missed his first shots and could have been rattled since it was his home debut, but he stuck with it and helped the Suns win an important game.
“I’m glad I’m back, I’m glad I’m into the zone of playing again and being around the guys and being one of the guys again,” Durant said. “So just keep building from here.”
Durant finished with 16 points Wednesday night on 5-of-18 shooting, though he made five of his last 12 shots after he missed his first six. He also had eight rebounds and four assists.
The Suns are 4-0 with Durant in the lineup and are currently on a three-game winning streak. Phoenix is one-half of a game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference, a position that would give it home court advantage in the first round of the postseason and perhaps beyond if it faces a lower seed.
Phoenix will need Durant’s best to win a championship. The star forward has averaged 24.0 points on 56.7 percent shooting (52.9 percent from 3-point range) in his four games with the team with 7.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists.