Kevin Durant only made it three games into his Phoenix Suns tenure before suffering another injury that will sideline him for a period of time.
All was going great for KD and the Suns, including a three-game road winning streak punctuated by beating the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday afternoon with KD recording the clinching points on one end and the clinching rebound on the other.
He and teammate Devin Booker scored the most points (188) in any duo’s first three games together since Wilt Chamberlain’s heyday 50 years ago.
Durant was supposed to make his Suns home debut on Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, his first NBA team, but rolled his ankle in pregame warmups and never took the court.
How did this happen?
Here’s video of Kevin Durant slipping on the floor pregame.— Kellan Olson (@KellanOlson) March 9, 2023
He stayed down for a few seconds but then got up and finished his on-court work. pic.twitter.com/DwTrNc6LIr
Durant continued his pregame workout for a few more minutes before he went to the team’s locker room. Suns officials ruled Durant out within 20 minutes of the game’s scheduled start at 7 p.m., and Phoenix coach Monty Williams did not have an official update on Durant after the game.
“We just have to wait and see how he responds to treatment,” Williams said. “He’ll probably get some more imaging just to make sure everybody’s on the same page.”
Well, the imaging is done and the Suns report the injury is a left ankle sprain that will be re-assessed in three weeks and are hopeful they’ll see progress well before that. The swelling in the ankle had already started to go down less than 24 hours later.
“I feel bad for him because he feels bad,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said after the game. “He feels... like I saw his face and I’ve been around him so many times, I know what he’s feeling. And I don’t want him feeling that way at all.”
Durant was still in the locker room, getting treatment, when the players took the court 20 minutes before tipoff. They reported seeing him on the training table between that warmup, which took place about a half hour before, and when they left for the court.
He was later reported to have been placed in a walking boot and sent home to rest while the game was going on.
Devin Booker and Chris Paul, who met with media after the game, did not initially think Durant’s ankle injury was serious.
“We’ll reschedule the party,” Booker said confidently of Durant’s coming-out party at home.
The Suns (37-29) next game is Saturday, as the 2nd-seeded Sacramento Kings (39-27) visit Footprint Center for a showdown with the Suns. The Suns are 2-0 against the Kings so far this season. If the Suns win Saturday, they would secure a tiebreaker in the season series and get the higher playoff seed if both teams finish with the same record.