The Phoenix Suns and their fans were ready to party Wednesday night in Kevin Durant’s expected debut in front of his home crowd at the Footprint Center.
But Durant injured his ankle in warm ups, quickly turning the mood around the franchise and making the party more of a pity party in Phoenix.
The Suns, who were considered a favorite for the NBA title after trading for Durant, now might have to contemplate a lengthy absence for the star, with the organization fearing he suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain with a possible 4-6 week recovery period.
Here’s what NBA pundits were saying about Durant’s potential injury and how it would affect Phoenix’s title chances in the aftermath of Wednesday night’s game.
More:Suns forward Kevin Durant could miss the rest of the regular season with ankle sprain
Undisputed: Kevin Durant’s injury ‘dooms’ Suns’ chances
Shannon Sharpe said: “Now they aren’t going to win a championship without Kevin Durant. They are not. It was going to be hard for them to win a championship with Kevin Durant … They’ve got less than a Clorox chance, Clorox 99.9% chance they are not winning the title.”
Undisputed: Kevin Durant injury ‘crushing’ for NBA
Skip Bayless said: “This is crushing, this is devastating, not only for Kevin Durant but for the Phoenix Suns and their fans, for NBA fans everywhere, four our show for everything involved. Everything NBA just suffered. He’s one of the greatest players ever, one of the best players in the league.”
First Take: ‘No title aspirations’ for Suns without Kevin Durant
Stephen A. Smith said: “There are no title aspirations that are reasonable for the Phoenix Suns without Kevin Durant. It starts and ends with him. If he ain’t there, they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Let’s just get that out of the way first.”
Get Up: Kevin Durant injury history was baked into trade
Zach Lowe said: “Look, this was basked into the trade when they made it. Kevin Durant is 34 with some recent injuries that are concerning. Chris Paul is 37 and he seems to get hurt in the playoffs every year. …If the Suns suffer an injury to one of those players at any given time, they will not possibly be able to say, now who could have seen this coming?'”
More:5 takeaways as Kevin Durant suffers left ankle sprain before Suns win over OKC
Devin Booker, Chris Paul, Monty Williams react to Kevin Durant’s injury:
The Suns’ Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Monty Williams reacted to Durant’s injury in post-game interviews captured by The Arizona Republic’s Duane Rankin Wednesday night, taking a much more measured approach to the situation than some national pundits.
More:Phoenix Suns: Kevin Durant in ‘good spirits’ after missing Wednesday’s game with left ankle sprain
Reach Jeremy Cluff at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.
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