Kevin Durant out for Suns after ankle injury in pregame fall

Video showed Durant driving to the basket during warmups when he rolled his left ankle as he jumped.
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 7:09 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:26 PM MST
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PHOENIX (AP/3TV/CBS 5) — Kevin Durant’s home debut with the Phoenix Suns will have to wait a little longer. The 13-time All-Star slipped on the floor during pregame warmups and was ruled out Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder because of left ankle soreness.

The game was supposed to be Durant’s home debut with his new team. He has played in three games since being traded to the Suns, but all were on the road.

Video showed Durant driving to the basket during warmups when he rolled his left ankle as he jumped. He immediately hopped up and was walking, though he was moving slowly. Several minutes later, the Suns confirmed that Durant would miss the game.

Despite Durant’s absence, many downtown businesses have benefited from him being in Phoenix. Businesses are always getting decent crowds for Suns home games, but managers and owners at the Ainsworth and Willie’s Taco Joint say it’s on another level since the Durant trade. “Usually, we’ve been busy before the game, but we’ve been busy all day. So we’ve been super excited. It’s Kevin Durant. It’s a crazy thing. I’ve never experienced a thing like that, specifically the impact he has as a player by himself,” said Sean Sotack, Willie’s Taco Joint manager.

Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Chris Camacho says this doesn’t just mean more money. It means more businesses want to get in on the atmosphere and profits in the Valley. “More tax revenue generated for our communities for our state. And I think this is just going to put a spotlight on Arizona coming off the heels of these major events,” he said. “When you get corporate executives to come to your community, it’s a more significant livelihood that this will transition to additional economic value. If they come here and fall in love with the place, they decide to expand the business here; there’s rippling economic effects.”

Durant is averaging 26.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in his three games with the Suns. Phoenix traded for Durant and T.J. Warren in a blockbuster deal in February, sending Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks and other draft compensation to the Brooklyn Nets.