Kevin Durant says concerns about stability and team culture formed the basis of his decision to request a trade from the Brooklyn Nets ahead of this season.
Durant signed a 4-year, $198 million contract extension with the Nets in August 2021 before seeing Kyrie Irving miss a significant portion of games due to his and James Harden’s Covid vaccination status. switched to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for injured Ben Simmons. Brooklyn’s campaign then ended disappointingly with a loss to the Boston Celtics in their first-round playoff series.
The 33-year-old officially requested the trade on June 30 but then declined on August 24 because he had agreed to stay.
“My whole point is, I want people to be held accountable for their habits as a player on a daily basis, and a lot of things have been swept up in the carpet because of us being injured or people who are not. present,” Durant said.
“We should have fought more and focused on the people here. When I came out injured, we lost 10 games in a row. We shouldn’t have lost a number of games like that.
“I was very nervous about how we approached each day as a team. I felt like we could have fought through a lot of things that were holding us back.
“You see what happened with our season, the people in and out of the squad, the injuries, a lot of uncertainty created some doubts in my mind about the next four years of our success. I’m getting older and I want to be in a stable place and try to build Championship culture.
“I had some doubts about that and I told them to Joe and we moved on from there.”
Durant’s claim comes just days after Irving activated his player option to return to the Nets for the upcoming season, the Nets point guard acknowledged this week in news of a commercial desire. of teammates is “awkward”.
The pair were merged in Brooklyn, and then with Harden, amid a league-wide trend of super teams returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since losing games in 2001-2002 and 2002- 2003.
After speaking to management, Durant was reassured that hopes of competing for a title in his late 30s would remain.
“We have people in this dressing room who care, we have people in this organization who want to see this organization as one of the standout organizations in sport, so I believe in that, we I have competitors in this building,” he said.
“I have faith that going forward, we all want the same things, especially after a summer we struggled. That will make us better and make us competitive. fight harder and go out there to show what we can do.”
Nets general manager Sean Marks admits he is “relatively close” to agreeing to trade for Durant on a few occasions, but that is of course hard to guarantee anything close to a profit. fair to the caliber of player he will lose.
“I know I’m so good that you won’t just let me go. That’s one thing I appreciate about Sean and Joe.” You are too great for us to give,” added Durant. “I understand. I know who I am.”
Durant reiterated that he is committed to the Nets going into the new season as he continues his search for a third championship ring.
“Families go through things like this, go through adversity, go through disagreements,” said head coach Steve Nash. “That’s part of working in this business. It’s super competitive. We’re all proud. We all have expectations. And when we started to grow, as we were. did last year, everyone was disappointed. So we cleared the air and we spoke, and we were on the same page.”