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Fans are in disbelief over Kevin Durant's departure from the Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets reportedly traded Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns.
Michael Reaves
Getty Images
The Brooklyn Nets reportedly traded Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns.

News that Kevin Durant is leaving the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster trade sent fans into a frenzy Thursday.

"That is insane," one fan, Joe Brooks, told NPR. "I can't believe that they actually did it. You know, this is probably the best player that the Brooklyn Nets have ever had in their franchise history."

Following the news, Brooks, a Philadelphia-based attorney and longtime Nets fan, tweeted a photo of seven of his jerseys, including three Durant jerseys.

"It was a tough pill to swallow this morning to say the least," Brooks said.

The Brooklyn Nets traded Durant, along with forward, T.J. Warren, to the Phoenix Suns, according to multiple outlets, including the Associated Press andESPN. The Suns will be the fourth NBA franchise for the 34-year-old Durant, who previously played for the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors.

The news also comes days after the Nets traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks.These departures, coupled with the Nets trading James Harden to Philadelphia last year, marks the end of the Big Three's tenure together.

"It's not the first time we'll be in competition as brothers," Irving said, following the news. "I'm just praying for his happiness."

Fans voiced their frustrations over Durant's departure on social media, including sharing photos of jerseys of now former Nets. For those that want one, the NBA will send a free placement to customers who purchased a jersey shortly after a player switched teams, per its store policy.

"Why would anyone spend their hard earned money on an NBA jersey nowadays with this kind of player movement," ESPN's Linda Cohn tweeted.

Fellow athletes also took to social media to collectively react to the Durant trade. Fellow NBA players like Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams, Nets forward Royce O'Neale and New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier tweeted their disbelief.

"Can't even go to sleep early anymore this time of the year," C.J. McCollum, who plays for the the New Orleans Pelicans, tweeted.

But not everyone is upset by the news: Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego shared her approval of the trade. "Expensive, but worth it," Gallego tweeted, alongside a photo of an awning with the word "Durant's."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Giulia Heyward
Giulia Heyward is a weekend reporter for Digital News, based out of New York. She previously covered education and other national news as a reporting fellow at The New York Times and as the national education reporter at Capital B News. She interned for POLITICO, where she covered criminal justice reform in Florida, and CNN, as a writer for the trends & culture team. Her work has also been published in The Atlantic, HuffPost and The New Republic.