Unlike Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant is still beloved in New York City. Durant averaged 29 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 5.8 assists across three-plus seasons in the Big Apple and brought Brooklyn to the forefront of the NBA world in the process.
If Durant’s big toe were one size smaller, the future Hall of Famer likely would have delivered Brooklyn their first NBA Title. James Harden and Kyrie Irving gave Durant a lot of problems in Brooklyn and were the main reason he ended up getting traded to Phoenix in February.
He still loves the team that plays in New York’s Eastern borough and praised the Nets while giving his picks for the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament.
Kevin Durant thinks the Nets are the East’s wild-card team
The NBA’s in-season tournament begins tonight, and Durant thinks the Nets could be a wild-card team in the East due to their athleticism and the presence of Ben Simmons. KD is right; with Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Nic Claxton, and Simmons on the roster, Brooklyn has one of the most athletic teams in all of basketball.
As for the in-season tournament, KD could be on to something. Brooklyn is in East Group C for the tournament, with the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, and Orlando Magic. On paper, the Nets have the second-best roster of that group, only behind Boston.
The major problem for Brooklyn is that only four Eastern Conference teams make it out of the knockout stage: the three group winners and one wild-card team. With Boston, who is off to a ridiculously hot start, in the Nets group, it is unlikely Brooklyn will win Group C. To make matters more complicated, the pool play matchup between Boston and Brooklyn is in Boston, and not Brooklyn.
Hopefully, KD is right, and the Nets snag the East’s wild card spot.