Kevin Durant says he’s comfortable with the Nets. Illustration: Getty Images
Kevin Durant was desperate to be traded last summer.
KD struggled with the direction the Brooklyn Nets was taking and certainly wasn’t happy with the coaching. That was the report during the off-season, and he confirmed it to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.
In an exclusive interview, Durant spoke to Haynes about the turmoil surrounding the Nets and their rough start to the 2021-22 season after being defeated by the Sacramento Kings, 153-121, on national television.
“It wasn’t difficult at all to request a trade because it was ball,” Durant told Haynes.
Telling his side of the story, Durant’s complaints sound like your average, everyday, disgruntled Jimmy Butler. He was dissatisfied with the amount of Nets exercises and what they went through during those sessions. Durant apparently loves sell-out drills the way most American workers love a free lunch, because he twice mentioned that the Nets needed more of it in practice.
It’s almost Thanksgiving. The Nets are even more chaotic than last season and are playing worse basketball. Ben Simmons is sometimes on the pitch, sometimes not. And when he does play, he was a worse player than he was during his infamous 2021 playoff meltdown with the Philadelphia 76ers. Kyrie Irving decided to post a link to an anti-Semitic film just days after Adidas dropped Kanye “Ye” West for continually making such statements publicly. Irving is currently suspended indefinitely and the Nets are 6-9.
G/O Media may receive a commission
Breville Smart Oven
This smart oven uses a range of different algorithms to ensure whatever you cook is cooked to perfection, heats up faster, has ten different functions and is easy to use.
However, Durant insisted he was OK with the current state of the networks. He spoke positively about the new head coach, Jacque Vaughn, because I think they’re both big fans of final drills in training. Durant claimed he enjoys navigating five defenders because it makes him a better player. While this season is currently pointing in the opposite direction of the postseason, all is well because he can pass his wisdom on to these inexperienced and, in his opinion, mediocre NBA players.
“Look at our starting line-up. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris [Nic] Claxton and I. It’s not disrespect, but what do you expect from this group?” Durant said to Haynes. “You expect us to win because I’m out there. So if you’re watching from that lens, expect us to play well because the number 7 is out there.”
Last season, Durant felt the team was moving in the wrong direction and was losing respect in the basketball world. With the Nets becoming increasingly off-center and playing “like shit,” he assumed the blame would fall on him, telling Haynes that’s why he asked for the trade.
One thing Durant has certainly clarified is why Steve Nash was canned as Nets coach 13 days into the regular season. When it was revealed that Durant had requested a trade, it was reported that he had given the Nets an ultimatum. Either fire Nash and General Manager Sean Marks or send him out. Cooler heads prevailed as it became clear to all sides that the move of the 34-year-old superstar, who underwent Achilles tendon surgery three years ago, would be extremely difficult. The Nets brain trust met with Durant at his home in Los Angeles and worked out a way for him to return.
Still, Durant insisted to the media that he was “shocked” when Nash was fired.
If the Nets had started the season on a five-game winning streak, it might have bought Nash some time. Instead, they lost five of their first seven games.
With the holiday season approaching, besides Nash, there isn’t much difference from the Nets from last season. Simmons is on the list in place of James Harden, O’neal in place of Bruce Brown, Irving is banned and the team is a disappointment.
But let Durant tell it, it’s all good. The nets may be a mess, but this is a mess he can live with.