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Kevin Durant has apparently had enough of playing for Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Durant met with Nets governor Joe Tsai and said the team needs to choose between either trading him or firing the combination of Nash and general manager Sean Marks.
What’s more, the future Hall of Famer made it clear he does not believe in the direction the team is headed.
Charania reported the Saturday meeting was “transparent and professional,” and Brooklyn has “direct knowledge of the reasons behind Durant’s request” and knows he will remain “resolute” in his desire for a trade.
This causes more uncertainty for a Nets franchise that seemed to have built a championship contender on paper but has been unable to convert that potential on the floor.
Last season started with Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden forming a superstar trio, but Irving did not play for the majority of the season because he remained unvaccinated against COVID-19. What’s more, Harden was eventually traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that brought in Ben Simmons, who didn’t play a single game last season.
The journey ended in a first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics and an offseason of more question marks with Irving opting into his player option for 2022-23 with free agency eventually looming and the Durant situation.
If Durant did stay, he could form something of a Big Three with Irving and Simmons to go along with a solid supporting cast that includes Royce O’Neale, T.J. Warren, Patty Mills, Nic Claxton and Joe Harris.
Yet the primary star of that group seemingly doesn’t want to take the court for Nash, who has been Brooklyn’s head coach since the 2020-21 campaign when KD arrived.
Kurt Helin of NBC Sports reacted to the latest developments:
This is also a change in direction from public comments Durant made in April:
Nets Videos @SNYNets
Kevin Durant gives his vote of confidence in having Steve Nash remain as the Nets’ head coach:
“Steve has been dealt a crazy hand the last 2 years” pic.twitter.com/OM07pHojxo
Trading Durant has been anything but easy, as Charania reported potential suitors have been unwilling to meet Brooklyn’s “sky-high threshold for the return the franchise wants.” Charania listed the Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat as “the most significant candidates” to pull off such a trade, but there is still work to be done.
There are even some question marks about what version of Durant teams will get as he plays out the remainder of his contract that expires after the 2025-26 season.
Yes, he is an all-time great with two championships, two NBA Finals MVP awards, a league MVP, four scoring titles, 10 All-NBA selections and 12 All-Star nods on his resume, but he turns 34 years old in September and played just 35 games in 2020-21 and 55 games last season after sitting out the 2019-20 campaign to recover from an Achilles injury.
Durability is a real concern, especially as he ages, and figures to be something potential suitors weigh when deciding how much to offer in any trade package.
Brooklyn being put in a situation where it has to choose either a star player or the combination of head coach and general manager may also cut into the team’s leverage in any negotiations as it looks to resolve some of the uncertainty surrounding the franchise before the season starts.
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