EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

‘Me and Book need them 2 seats’: Kevin Durant rooting on D-backs in World Series

Oct 29, 2023, 7:30 AM

Kevin Durant of NBA team Phoenix Suns is seen prior to the Premier League Summer Series match betwe...

Kevin Durant of NBA team Phoenix Suns is seen prior to the Premier League Summer Series match between Chelsea FC and Fulham FC at FedExField on July 30, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Avid baseball fan Kevin Durant had the best seats in the house for the wrong night in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies.

Durant, alongside teammate Devin Booker (and legendary Olympian Michael Phelps), were front row right behind the D-backs’ on-deck circle, giving them the perfect angle for the absolute moonshots hit by Phillies lefties Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper.

Many thought that was the last game of the season in the home ballpark after the D-backs went down 3-2 in the series and back to a raucous environment in Philadelphia, but Arizona took the last two games with unbelievable poise to make the World Series.

Monday’s Game 3 is when the series shifts to Arizona, and Durant lit up when he was told the game was on that date, one that will work for his schedule. The Suns remain in Phoenix to play the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday (during Game 4) and Thursday, meaning he and the squad will be able to catch both Game 3 and Wednesday’s Game 5 if they are so inclined.

As you might imagine, he wants to be there.

“Hopefully we got them seats reserved,” he said following Saturday’s win over the Utah Jazz. “Matter of fact, me and Book need them two seats again.”

Another victory on Saturday was the D-backs’ over the Texas Rangers in Game 2. With a first pitch time two hours prior to tip off in the Valley, the Suns were able to keep it on in the locker room and see the majority of the game.

They weren’t the only ones watching in the building. Fans on the concourse were huddled around the televisions showing the game throughout the building. When Durant was warming up on the floor, it sounded like there were shouts for “KD!” until it was clear it was actually “Gabi!” yells from the concourse after D-backs catcher Gabriel Moreno homered to open scoring in the fourth inning.

Once the D-backs got the final out, dozens of fans late in the second quarter got out of their seats at Footprint Center to celebrate. An organic “Let’s go D-backs!” chant echoed shortly after as word spread.

“We heard that on the floor,” Durant confirmed.

The long-time admirer of baseball from afar has supported the D-backs since his arrival, consistently sporting the team’s baseball cap for his pregame/postgame fits, like on Saturday.

There’s a fun link there with D-backs superstar rookie Corbin Carroll, who remembered as a young child in Seattle going to SuperSonics games to see a 19-year-old Durant as a rookie before the franchise moved to Oklahoma City. When Durant went to his first D-backs game at Chase Field since joining the Suns, he had on a Carroll jersey.

Carroll was pretty stoked, giddy in a way we rarely see him.

And that’s what it’s really about for Durant. He’s been around long enough to know how much support from him can mean to not only the baseball club but the city as well.

And you bet your bottom dollar he’s going to be there on Monday to feel its passion. He had a huge smile on his face when reporters confirmed it’s a 2-3-2 series format, so Arizona now has a chance to clinch a championship at home.

“We are very excited for the D-backs,” Durant said. “A World Series here in Arizona is gonna be extremely fun. … I’m excited for the guys. They coming back with a lot of energy being 1-1. Is it 2-3-2? … That’s a big opportunity for those guys!”

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‘Me and Book need them 2 seats’: Kevin Durant rooting on D-backs in World Series