clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

RUN IT BACK! Nets, Kevin Durant agree to ‘move forward with our partnership’

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets - Game Four Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The greatest basketball player in the world will continue to play in Brooklyn, New York!

After a meeting Monday in Los Angeles involving Kevin Durant, his business partner Rich Kleiman, Sean Marks, Steve Nash, Joe and Clara Wu Tsai, KD and the Nets agreed “to move forward with our partnership,” meaning Durant will return to play in Brooklyn this season. The announcement came from Marks and the Nets as well as from Boardroom, Durant and Kleiman’s media company...

The statement did not discuss any specifics — or any conditions — to the agreement. However, a Nets insider told Brian Lewis, “We want to build a lasting franchise, so this is not just about this year.” Nor was there a discussion of the timeline that led up to the meeting. On a social note, Tuesday is Sean Marks 47th birthday.

News of the agreement — and meeting — comes five weeks before the Nets will open their training camp and seven weeks after Durant asked for a trade hours before his four-year, $198 million contract was to kick in. It also comes two weeks after one participant in the L.A. meeting — Durant — told another — Joe Tsai — that two others on hand — Marks and Nash — should be fired. Adrian Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter that the earlier meeting between KD and Tsai, in London, was the start of the repair process. In fact, not longer after the meeting, Ramona Shelburne, Woj’s ESPN colleague, reported that the Nets saw the meeting as “part of the process,” indicating some progress was being made in settling the underlying issues between player and team.

While half of the NBA’s teams were making (low-ball) bids for Durant, Marks and Joe Tsai remained in “lockstep ... like peas in a pod” (as one insider called them) on refusing to lower their price for Durant and attempting to wrest power from the Nets superstars while maintaining a player-friendly culture. The Nets brass had been exasperated by last season’s dismal outcome, getting into the playoffs via the play-in tournament, then being swept by the Celtics in round 1. It was as controversial is it was dismal: Kyrie Irving refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, James Harden’s lackadaisical play before being traded, Ben Simmons inability to play after being traded in February.

Things went from bad to worse after the loss to the Celtics. Kyrie Irving and the Nets couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension and on June 27, Irving opted in to his $36.5 million player option. informing Shams Charania before he informed the Nets. A day later, less than 12 hours before his own extension was to begin, Durant informed Tsai he wanted out.

Tuesday’s announcement also comes a day after Shams updated the mediocre trade picture for Durant and also reported that the Nets and Kyrie Irving had reached their own separate peace, with Brooklyn telling other teams that Irving was no longer available.

Over the weekend, an Instagam hoops fan posted images of Durant and Irving scrimmaging — and talking — together while at a high school gym in Studio City, California.

Now, after a summer of trade proposals and all manner of rumors, the Nets have 12 players with guaranteed deals, one on a partial guarantee and a two-way under contract. That leaves six training camp openings.

In the hours after the Nets announcement, Durant went on a Twitter spree. He didn’t respond directly to the news but took some exceptions to those who criticized his trade request.

Not long after the announcement, Brian Lewis caught up with Nic Claxton and asked how he felt about the news. “It’s exciting knowing he’s coming back on board with us. I know we can have a really, really good group. So we’ve just got to get everybody together and lock in,” said Claxton.