When Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors during the 2016 offseason, it was shocking, as it seemed to come out of nowhere. Six years later Durant once again made waves during an NBA offseason when he shocked the basketball world , and most specifically the Brooklyn Nets , by his trade request.
As it has been several weeks and the Nets were unable to find a deal both suitable to them and KD there was thought that perhaps what ever issues had pushed Durant to the point of wanting to leave could be assuaged. However it appears this brief intermiision has done little to quell those demands. According to a report from The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania, Durant had a face-to-face meeting with Nets owner Joe Tsai this past weekend in which he not only remained steadfast with his trade request, but threw down an ultimatum of himself of the duo of head coach Steve Nash and GM Seam Marks.
Charanca adds in his report that Durant does not have confidence in the franchise’s direction.
Succinctly speaking the nets have earned KD’s frustration, as they have dropped the ball in two very noticeable instances. The first was the hiring of Steve Nash to be their head coach. As a team that was constructed to immediately contend for championships, bringing in an unproven rookie coach was not the way to go. Throughout the season Nash looked over his head, and was routinely outcoached; this was most notably on display for the entire NBA world to see in this year playoffs against the Celtics, where Ime Udoka completely coached circles around Nash. He also never to be on the same page with his two best players Kyrie and KD and this would be another factor that stymied the ability of this club to reach their potential.
The front office i.e., general manager Sean Marks has more than their fair shave of culpability in the current state of affairs. The Kenny Atkinson firing was bad, chased by an even worse hire in Steve Nash. As bad as that was it is dwarfed by the Nets /Marks’ handling of the Kyrie vaccination situation. Kyrie did not take the vaccine (funny how “my body, my choice “did not apply in this instance) and though the NY vaccine mandate, barred him as an unvaccinated person from home games and practices, the Nets could have had his services for the road games. However the team banished him, and only “welcomed” him back when Kevin Durant went down and the Nets plummeted down the Eastern Conference standings. This seemed to have, at minimum strained the relationship between the team and Kyrie but also really did not sit well with KD.
If the Nets decided to dig their proverbial heels in and play hardball, they would be well within their rights to do so; they do still have Durant under contract for four more seasons. Doing absolutely nothing would create a stifling and unnecessary distraction around the team. Joe Tsai and the Nets brass need to be fully aware that it will be much easier to break off Nash and Marks that it will be to trade KD and/or Kyrie Irving