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Kevin Durant on whether he wants to retire a Net: ‘As of today, this second, yes…’

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Chris Milholen

After being paid $38 million this season, Kevin Durant’s contract calls for him to be paid another $126 million over the next three seasons, the third and final year a $43 million player option. Of course, he’ll only be 34 at the end of the deal, a year younger than LeBron James is now. And we all know how James is doing at the moment.

So after being denied watching him this season, can Nets fans feel assured that they’ll be able to watch Durant through at least the end of that option season in 2022-2023? In an exchange via The Player Tribune’s “Text Message Talk Show,” KD was asked if indeed Brooklyn would be the last stop on what will be a Hall of Fame career.

“As of today, this second, yes…” Durant texted on the show.

Two years ago, Durant said he could see himself stepping away from the game at age 35. That would be September 29, 2023, the beginning of the next season ... and a new contract. ”No matter how much you enjoy it, nobody wants to be in school that long,” Durant told ESPN. in June 2018. “I know I don’t. At some point, you have to be ready to graduate. Thirty-five, that’s just a number in my mind.”

“I heard him say that, but I’ll believe it when it happens,” his agent and manager Rich Kleiman said at the time.

All that said, Durant’s statement has to be encouraging for a fan base that has been though a tough season, with KD rehabbing from his Achilles rupture and Kyrie Irving missing all but 20 games due to a shoulder impingement.

Things can change but Durant has continually praised the organization and is happy living in the city, where after all he has his Thirty-Five Ventures corporate offices.

For example, Durant spoke glowingly of the hire of Steve Nash, who has been his friend for more than a decade.

“I’m excited about Coach Nash…I think he’s gonna build a fun culture in Brooklyn….having a former player walk the sidelines is always dope to see,” texted Durant,

“I felt like Sean Marks always had a relationship with Steve…he’s a brilliant basketball mind but on top of that he’s a great communicator…..everything he did on the court was efficient so hopefully he brings that mentality to our team.”

In the text message show —just the latest online channel Durant has chosen to communicate with his fans, the 10-time All-Star spoke as well as his injury which took place in Game 5 of the NBA Finals back in June 2019.

“It was tough, I just wanted to make sure I was going 100% every rep, no matter what it was. It’s a process recovering from an Achilles, had to have patience and when I see a court I’m always on 10 lol. I had to learn to relax.”

As Brian Lewis reported, Durant and Irving are expected to be 100 percent by the time the season begins, now rumored to be Martin Luther King Weekend which fall on January 18 next year.

Once he dons the black-and-white for real next season, Brooklyn will be his third stop after Oklahoma City and Golden State, both of which were unhappy circumstances for fans. And despite his winning two championships in Golden State and winning two Finals MVP’s, there are some like Charles Barkley who will try to diminish that accomplishment.

On Thursday, Barkley said KD hadn’t moved up on his all-time list because the Warriors were Steph Curry’s team.

“You have to be a bus driver, you can’t be a bus rider... Kevin Durant is still a bus rider until he wins one in Brooklyn,” said Barkley.

Two Finals MVP’s in three years? Sounds more like a conductor than a rider.