Did Kevin Durant really issue a me-or-them ultimatum to Nets owner Joe Tsai concerning coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks this summer? Exactly how close did the Nets superstar come to leaving the team?
Durant made it clear after practice Friday that he isn’t going to make it clear, that he is finished talking about all of the crazy stuff that happened during the offseason.
“Can we move on past that at some point?” Durant said when asked if anything accurate was reported about the situation. “I know it’s an interesting story. I know that it took up most of the offseason and drama sells. I get that. But I didn’t miss any games. I didn’t miss any practices. I’m still here. So hopefully we can move past that.”
It was widely reported that Durant requested a trade in June and then asked for his coach and GM to be fired. Nash said earlier this week that he never thought the reports were “100% true.” Though he declined to elaborate, Durant apparently agreed.
“There’s a lot of [stuff] that was inaccurate,” he said. “But it’s like I don’t want to go through it right now. We don’t got that much time right now.”
Durant ultimately rescinded his trade request and both Marks and Nash stayed. Durant explained Friday that despite “some of the doubts” he had, he ultimately decided that this could be a very good place for him this season.
“I felt like we had a good team,” he said. “I felt like this is the place I said I wanted to be. We’re starting to set something up in the future to be a solid team. So to be honest, I thought this was still a great option, too. I didn’t want it to get in the way of the games being played.
“I still love my teammates. Still love playing in the Barclays. So I felt like it was gonna be an easy decision to come back and play because I love the hoop. This has been a good environment the last two years for me hooping, even though I had some doubts.”
In the past two years, the Nets have been plagued by injuries and dealt with a vaccination situation that severely restricted Kyrie Irving’s playing time. Durant said he is looking forward to seeing what this team can do if it stays healthy.
“I mean, [in] the grand scheme of things, we haven’t been healthy at all for two years,” he said. “Each playoffs, we’ve had major guys just miss minutes, like not just role players, guys that make a lot of money. So when you got $50 million on your bench this last playoffs with Joe [Harris] and Ben [Simmons], and then playoffs before that.
“I want to see what our team looks like in full with guys being healthy and us having a little bit of continuity.
“So we’ll see what happens.”