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Hawks’ Kevin Huerter shares humorous story of how Kevin Durant welcomed him to the league as a rookie

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The Atlanta Hawks‘ season is officially over, as they were not among the 22 teams invited down to Orlando to resume play in the bubble inside Disney World. So, with plenty of free time now on his hands, Kevin Huerter did what so many of us have been doing the last few months: he went online. 

Specifically, Huerter took his talents to Reddit for an “Ask Me Anything” session. He talked about playing with Trae Young, his favorite movie and video games and picked the Lakers to win it all this season. Easily the most interesting answer, though, was his welcome to the league moment. 

During a game against the Warriors in his rookie season, he found out just how hard it is to guard the best players in the league. As transcribed by Bleacher Report:

We were playing at Golden State, and this is when Kevin Durant was playing for them. So I’m guarding Durant. He has the ball inside halfcourt so I’m trying to pressure him. He loses the ball and it goes out to halfcourt. So in my mind I’m thinking like “Oh, I’m doing alright.” So I go out to halfcourt and still try to pressure him and then he takes a three-dribble hesi pullup where I’m right on him, pulls up right inside the 3-pt line and just knocks down the easiest two. Like back rim straight down. And he’s backpedaling on defense and he just yells out “Welcome to the league, rook.” And I’m just like, I don’t know what to do. He came up to me after the game and said something and that was it. Because I didn’t know him at all before that.

Thanks to the wonders of technology, we can actually go back and find the exact play Huerter was talking about. 

It wasn’t exactly “right inside the 3-point line” as Huerter remembered, but it was a pretty smooth move from Durant. Going to go out on a limb and say there weren’t a lot of guys in the Big Ten doing stuff like that when Huerter was in college. 

Now with two seasons in the league under his belt, Huerter has established himself as a promising young wing for the Hawks. He may not make it look quite as easy as Durant, but he can really shoot it from the outside and figures to be a part of Atlanta’s core moving forward with Trae Young and John Collins

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it’s unclear when we’ll be able to see them on the court again. The league has proposed a secondary bubble in Chicago this fall for teams who weren’t invited to Orlando, but those talks are just preliminary. Huerter, for his part, said in the AMA, “My biggest opinion on that is I just want the opportunity to be able to play.”

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