NBA reporters wasted no time flooding into the Brooklyn Nets HSS Training Center yesterday morning, forming a tidal wave that moved straight toward star forward Kevin Durant. With the Slim Reaper set to speak for the first time since making and rescinding his trade request a few months back, the questions came in a direct and abrupt nature.
Reporters immediately asked Durant about his mindset since his team’s defeat vs the Boston Celtics last spring, what played into his trade request, and eventual trade rescission. Just as he does to opposing defenders on the court, Durant attacked the question head-on.
“There was a lot of uncertainty around our team last year,” said Durant. “I committed to this organization for four years last summer with the idea that we was gonna play with that group that went on that little run to the second round with.”
“I felt like another year of that, us being healthy, we were building something towards the future,” Durant continued. “Then as the season went on I had—you know. You seen what happened with our season, guys in and out of the lineup, injuries, just a lot of uncertainty which built some doubt in my mind about the next four years of my career.”
Durant went on to acknowledge his growing age. The 12-time All-Star will turn 34 years old this week. He also expressed a desire to play for an organization that’s equipped to compete for a championship.
Although Durant disappointed Brooklyn fans when he first asked out, they cannot deny that this reasoning behind his decision has merit to it. The Nets experienced more drama last year than a Hallmark movie marathon. They also fielded 43 different starting lineups last season—more than half the amount of total regular season games.
No matter how much it hurt, Durant’s trade request made sense. But while there’s no way around that, the Nets do have all the pieces they need to make good on those issues which nearly drove him away.
For the first time in two years, they will welcome back 10 faces from last year and only five new players—their fewest since Durant joined the team. Stability? Check.
As for talent, Kyrie Irving will return for his fourth season in Nets threads feeling very motivated. Ben Simmons appears healthy as well, rounding out one of the game’s better “Big Threes” to go with a talented array of glue guys. Championship roster? Check.
The Nets will still need to do the one thing they have yet to accomplish: hold it all together. But regardless, the hard stuff is done. Durant is back as is everything he needs to stay happy in Brooklyn for the foreseeable future.