On Day 4 of Nets training camp at the HSS Training Facility in Industry City, Kevin Durant attempted once again to clear the air on his chaotic summer, from requesting a trade to returning to Brooklyn.
Durant requested a trade twice in June and August and and reportedly asked Nets Governor, Joe Tsai, to fire both Nets general manager and head coach, then chose to remain in Brooklyn. After that announcement at the end of August, he’s on the floor at HSS and both Marks and Nash remain in their positions. Now, Durant wants to move past all the drama that occurred.
“Can we move on and past it at some point?,” Durant stated. “I know it’s an interesting story and I know it took up most of the offseason. I didn’t miss any games. I didn’t miss any practices. I’m still here. Hopefully, we can move past that.”
The two-time NBA champion also claimed that “a lot of sh*t that was reported [in the offseason] was inaccurate.” When he was asked why he decided to return to the Nets and rescind his trade request, he noted Brooklyn is a “great option” and that he didn’t want a trade request to serve as a distraction when the regular season rolls around.
“I felt like we had a good team. I felt like this is a place that I said I wanted to be and we’re starting to set something up in the future to be a solid team,” Durant said. “To be honest, I thought [Nets] was still a great option, too. I didn’t want [trade request] to get in the way of the games being played.
“I still love my teammates. I love playing at the Barclays. So I felt like regardless it’s gonna be an easy decision to come back and play because I love to hoop. This has been a good environment for me the last two years, even though I had some doubts but overall, looking at it, I still like to come in here and get work in.”
During the Nets' annual Media Day Monday, the superstar pinpointed the lack of accountability, stability, and championship culture as the reasoning behind the request On Friday at camp, Durant reiterated his own thoughts and those of both Nash and Marks provided at Media Day, that the group that met in Los Angeles on August 22 cleared some things up.
With four days of training camp under his belt, Durant said he is glad he remained a Net.
“I was upset, and as a family, they understood that I was upset,” said Durant on Friday. “Some of the stuff they agreed with, and so we talked about it, and it was over a couple of weeks towards the end of that where we talked about it, and we came out and we voiced all of our concerns about how we all can get better. And it just worked out from there.
“I’m glad I’m here now.”
Durant specifically praised Tsai who met with him in London then Los Angeles — and as he and Marks noted at Media Day — along the way.
The two-time Finals MVP had already praised Marks on the Nets offseason additions to the roster on Media Day. The Nets GM added depth at the wing — trading for Royce O’Neale and signing T.J. Warren, Edmond Sumner, and Yuta Watanabe. He also added Markieff Morris, reportedly on KD’s recommendation, and re-signed Patty Mills and Nic Claxton. In addition, Brooklyn has Ben Simmons, Joe Harris, and Seth Curry all returning — although all three underwent offseason surgeries.
When you look at the roster on paper, Durant noted the Nets newfound versatility — the lack of which hurt the team in the 2022 Eastern Conference First Round Series vs. the Celtics. The additions were a catalyst to the star returning to the Nets.
“Oh yeah, we’re versatile,” said Durant on the Nets roster makeup. “We’ve got bigger guys. Last year in the playoffs, we played a lot of smaller guys under 6’4.” A lot of them played against a bigger team in the Celtics. I think we got bigger as a group overall. We’ve got a lot of IQ in the building as well.
“Royce [O’Neale] played in some playoff stretches. Ben [Simmons] obviously. Seth [Curry]. We’ve got some playoff experience in here that’s going to help down the line.”
Although Warren [foot] isn’t likely to make his anticipated return to the hardwood till at least a month into the season and Curry [ankle] is nearing being fully cleared, the Nets — pending two more days of training camp — enter the preseason bordering on full health. Durant foresees success with a full healthy team.
“We look at it in the grand scheme of things, like we haven’t been healthy at all for two years. It’s been, each playoffs, we’ve had major guys just miss minutes, like not just role players. Guys that make a lot of money,” Durant said. “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.”
Durant told NetsDaily that he expects to play in all four of the upcoming preseason games but doesn’t know what his minutes' load will be in the unofficial contests. Steve Nash has said he is closely monitoring how the rest of training camp goes before making any final decisions on who will play/sit Monday night against the Sixers.
Also Friday, the Nets tweeted out pictures of a team dinner at Lucali restaurant in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill on Wednesday night as if to underscore KD’s comments about team chemistry.
“We all like each other. We hang with each other. We go out and get drinks, get dinner. I think that’s camaraderie.”
- Kevin Durant wants to ‘move past’ offseason drama with Brooklyn Nets - Nick Friedell - ESPN
- Kevin Durant anxious to ‘move on’ from Nets drama, ‘inaccurate’ rumors - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kevin Durant explains why he rescinded trade request from Nets: ‘I’m glad I’m here now’ - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Nets’ Kevin Durant puts offseason drama in his rearview mirror - Barbara Barker - Newsday
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- Nets’ Kevin Durant on trade drama: ‘Can we move on past that at some point?” - Adam Zagoria - NJ.com