Kelly Oubre Jr. has been a member of the Phoenix Suns for barely a week, yet there he was, walking through the doors of the Wizards' practice facility on Friday afternoon.
Oubre and the Suns are set to play the Wizards on Saturday night in Washington, offering a quick reunion between former allies following last weekend's trade between the teams.
Oubre made his way across the practice court with a pair of purple shoes in his hand and a smile on his face, saying hello to Wizards staffers and media members. For one day, he was back in the place he spent the first three-and-a-half years of his NBA career, a city he called home from ages 19 to 23.
Coming back so soon after the trade has helped all of it settle in. He had a sentimental moment on Thursday, soon after the Suns had checked into their hotel. Oubre dropped off his stuff and went back to his D.C. apartment.
"I was watching TV and it was like 'Man, I don't live here anymore,'" he said.
As Oubre looks back on his time in Washington, it's not just basketball that comes to mind.
"Life. I really grew here. I really grew as a person mentally, physically and spiritually," he said.
Through his four seasons in D.C., Oubre became very popular among Wizards fans. He has a dynamic personality on and off the court and delivered many colorful quotes over the years.
On the court, he developed from a rookie who didn't consistently play to the team's sixth man. Whether his shots were falling or his mind was in the right place defensively, he always played with energy and flair.
That's what Oubre hopes Wizards fans remember most.
"That I gave everybody my all, man. I came in every night, no matter if I was playing or not, and I gave them my all. I did it for the city, I did it for the team and that's just who I am," he said.
Getting sent to Phoenix, Oubre said, was reminiscent of draft night in 2015 when the Wizards traded up to acquire him. He was left in limbo, not knowing where he would play next.
It all played out on Friday night as the Wizards were in Brooklyn, having just lost to the Nets. Initial discussions involved three teams, and Oubre was originally supposed to go to Memphis. The first trade fell through, then negotiations restarted and he got shipped to Phoenix.
After he knew where he was going, Oubre looked up the Suns' schedule and noticed it wasn't long until they played the Wizards. On Friday, when he met with Wizards reporters, he knew the exact date they would play again this season, on March 27.
The first one will probably be strange for Oubre, he admits, but he is looking forward to it.
"I'm pretty even-keel right now. I think [Saturday] might be a different story because, going to Capital One, I've never played there as a visitor," he said. "It should be nothing but love. I love [Wizards fans] and I appreciate their support."
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