Kevin Durant reveals his summer trade request and how he is enjoying his time with the Nets more now despite the drama
At the outset of free agency, Kevin Durant‘s trade request from the Brooklyn Nets was one of the biggest stories of the summer. It caused shockwaves around the NBA when Durant indicated that the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat were his top two trade targets. During this time, he allegedly gave Nets owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum: move him or fire Steve Nash as head coach and Sean Marks as general manager.
The two-time Finals MVP stated to Chris Haynes that there were very solid and practical reasons for his trade request, but that he ultimately revoked it when he and the Nets decided to go forward together.
“It was about ball,” Durant stated, according to Bleacher Report, explaining why he had no trouble asking for a trade. ‘Yo, I don’t like how we are preparing. I don’t like shootarounds. I like practices. I need more. I want to work on more shit. Hold me accountable. Get on my ass in film if that’s going to help you get on everybody else’s head. I want to do more closeouts. I want to work on more shell drills at practice,’ I told them.
And this is the kind of nonsense I was throwing at them. Not that I was thinking, “Hey, you guys should make sure everyone around me can make my life simpler,” but hell no, I want to make everyone else’s life easier. You may phone Steve Nash right now and ask him whatever you want. I’d always be the guy who demanded more closeout practice. That’s where I was at: “We need to practice more.
Durant elaborates on his displeasure with the team’s preseason work from the previous year.
Durant: “Nobody was experiencing it with me, and I wasn’t feeling that. Jacque Vaughn is.” In the summer, I voiced some concerns about the direction we are taking as a team, concerns that were not unique to me. As a basketball team, I hope we can earn the esteem of the general public. I’d rather not have the players think, “Man, those [expletive] are full of garbage,” when they look at us. They’ll be thinking, “That’s not the kind of team I want to be on. ” And when we’re all playing like garbage, you know who they’ll be looking at. And that’s why I asked for a swap.”
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Even before James Harden was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Philadelphia 76ers, rumors circulated that Harden didn’t like how Nash handled rotations, especially in crunch time. The Nets eventually fired Nash as head coach and promoted assistant Rashad Vaughn to the position, but that hasn’t been the only problem facing Brooklyn this season.
There have been a number of factors contributing to Durant and the Nets’ disappointing 6-9 start, including a midseason coaching change, Kyrie Irving’s team suspension for sharing an antisemitic film on social media, and “growing frustration” surrounding Ben Simmons’ availability and play when he is on the floor. The latest loss was especially disheartening because it came on national television as the Kings humiliated them.
Despite the Nets’ on-court and off-court problems this season, Durant has maintained that he is enjoying his time with the club right now.
Good procedures are simply something I appreciate. Preparedness is something I really value. As for the coaching staff, Durant stated, “Coaches have been doing a wonderful job, despite of this defeat [against the Kings] and previous game.” “I enjoy high energy, and we’ve been displaying that,” he said. We have, in my opinion, been adequately preparing ourselves. Men have an innate drive to triumph. We’re giving it our all in the game. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Durant added that he is aware of the weight of the team’s expectations on his shoulders, even with the ever-changing availability of Brooklyn’s other two stars, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons.
Just take a look at our starting eleven. Together, Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton, and I formed a formidable team. It’s not meant as an insult, but you want us to win just because I’m out there with this team, and I don’t know what to anticipate from that bunch,” Durant said. So, if you’re seeing things through that particular prism, you must believe that we’ll perform admirably because No. 7 is on the field.
Despite rescinding his trade request in the offseason and insisting that he’s “having a good time” right now, Durant isn’t wrong; if he’s on the floor, he’s expected to carry the Nets to a win even when they’re down two key starters. This is the same situation Harden was in last season when Durant missed significant time with injury and Irving was ineligible to play due to his vaccination status.
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The departure of Nash as head coach has to be a relief for Durant, but if Simmons fails to live up to expectations and Irving continues to lose time due to off-court issues, it wouldn’t be unexpected to hear Durant bring up the subject of a trade request again in the future.