Earlier this week, Nets GM Sean Marks said Kevin Durant has a big influence in the organization.
Make no mistake about it, the Brooklyn Nets signed Kevin Durant for him to be the unquestioned leader of the team even though they knew he was going to miss a full season due to his Achilles injury.
That means he needs to overshadow Kyrie Irving when it comes to being the central figure and voice of the team. Unfortunately, Irving is arguably the most polarizing figure in the NBA and his word are often misconstrued, so it’s hard to imagine that’s how the Nets want to be represented for the next four years.
Irving’s already called out his Nets teammates and created excessive drama around the NBA restart (we’re not saying he was wrong there, it’s just what ended up happening), so it’s time for Durant to further amplify his voice and set the tone moving forward. The good news is that general manager Sean Marks has said that’s already the case within the organization.
With a number of roster decisions and a head coaching hire to figure out this offseason, Durant unquestionably needs to be the primary consultant when it comes to all of that. He’s a two-time champion, three-time scoring champ, and one of the best all-around players in the league. He’ll be the one leading the Nets to their first-ever title, not Irving.
He managed to handle his opinion on the NBA restart much better than Irving, who had all of his (alleged) words and viewpoints leaked to the media, only to have all of it twisted. Durant, though, did back up Irving in admirable fashion, and made sure he spoke directly to the media to clarify his comments. That’s the kind of leadership the Nets need.
Durant, though also a polarizing figure, is seemingly more calculated than Irving and holds more credibility and influence. He’s dealt with enough media criticism, spotlight and roster turmoil to understand that, which has clearly helped him over the past couple of years.
Now it’s time for him to take all of that and be an unquestioned leader for the first time in his career.