In a Twitter conservation that went on from Monday night through Tuesday morning, Kevin Durant and reporter Tommy Beer talked about a lot of things related to the NBA, including what information fans are entitled to, the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement and where his trade request fits in all that.
There wasn’t much news in the exchange and KD didn’t specifically acknowledge the request, but it sure was implied in the conversation. It was illuminating particularly in the context of how his request — reportedly coming hours before his four-year, $198 million deal kicked in — may be a factor in the CBA talks. Durant even suggested that fans and the media want to see a lockout over superstars including him, James Harden and Ben Simmons, wanting out of teams after signing big deals, a point Beer took issue with. (Team owners and the players union have until December 15 to decide whether to open negotiations this season or wait a year. Either side can call for talks.)
The back-and-forth started with his previously reported retort to speculation that he might retire. Beer took it as an opportunity to ask KD about other unresolved issues. H/T to Hoopshype for the curation.
any interest in debunking any other rumors while we're here?— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) August 15, 2022
After a fan from Queens suggested that KD doesn’t wasn’t to talk about the details of his trade request, relationship to Kyrie, a possible holdout etc., and suggested he was a hypocrite, Durant responded as he often does, directly...
U think you’re entitled to information because u pay for league pass??— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 15, 2022
Tuesday morning, Beer picked up the conversation by asking just what are fans entitled to...
You’re entitled to what u work for. Now have a great day little fella— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 16, 2022
Seeing an opening, Beer asked whether he’d want to be quoted on that by owners in the next CBA...
So you gotta work to be remunerated? NBA owners may quote you on this during the next CBA negotiations my guy.— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) August 16, 2022
Also, I'd like to have a great day but I'm stressed about my fantasy football draft tonight.
(I'd call ya "big fella" - but I can't take Patrick Ewing's name in vain)
Durant seemingly dismissed NBA owners’ financial concerns, saying “NBA owners have been eating very well,” a seeming reference to just how valuable NBA franchises have become. (Mikhail Prokhorov made an estimated $2 billion profit on his 10-year investment in the Nets before selling out to Joe Tsai just after the Nets signed Durant and Irving.)
this is true. I def won't disagree.— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) August 16, 2022
But you know those dudes are sharks and they won't stop gorging on profits just because they've had their fair share and are no longer hungry.
Players not playing will be a major sticking point during the next round of CBA talks, as you know
Then things took a bit of a bizarre turn with KD suggesting that the media — and fans — are rooting for a lockout...
Fans and media want a lockout but I don’t see one happening, Shit going too well but who really knows right?— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 16, 2022
Indeed, many in the NBA agree with Durant in that things with the NBA are going too well to risk it all with a lockout. Revenues are rising dramatically worldwide and there’s the promise of a much bigger and broader media deal in 2024-25, increased revenue from gambling and crypto, even the likelihood of expansion.
Beer instantly disagreed with Durant’s take...
bro... fans don't agree on much but I can promise you with 100% certainty that every real/true NBA fan is praying there isn't a lockout. They just want to watch the game they love— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) August 16, 2022
You're wrong about the media also. For many of us, our livelihood depends on the games being played
Durant’s response was that the media and fans have been “loudest” about how the CBA needs to change, presumably on the issue of players not living up their contracts...
eh, I'd disagree with that generalization.— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) August 16, 2022
Any responsible journalist has a responsibilty to cover/examine a potential work stoppage.
That coverage should include what might lead to a lockout (players sitting out games).
But that doesn't mean "the media" agrees with the owners
And that’s basically where it ended. No resolution, but bottom line for Durant understands that his situation could have broader implications in the context of players vs. owners but he doesn’t see it as major irritant in the next CBA talks. Any hint that he’d hold out? Nope. A smart businessman, he understands you don’t lay out all your cards at the beginning of the game.