Kevin Durant said “a lot of s–t” was inaccurate about the reporting surrounding his offseason trade request. But he admits he was upset and had doubts about the Nets’ direction, before finally coming around.
The Brooklyn star rescinded his request to be traded or have coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks fired. He has settled into training camp and is trying to put the whole melodrama of his making behind him.
That could take a minute.
“Can we move on past that at some point?” Durant said Friday. “I mean, I know it’s an interesting story. I know that it took up most of the offseason and the drama sells, I get that. But I didn’t miss any games. I didn’t miss any practices. I’m still here. So hopefully, we can move past that.”
When asked how he managed to move past having his star player try to get him fired, Nash said he never believed the reports had been 100 percent accurate. Durant went a step further, albeit with no specifics.
“It’s a lot of s–t that was inaccurate,” Durant said. “But I don’t want to go through it right now. We don’t [have] that much time right now.”Kevin Durant is anxious to move on from the offseason drama. Noah K. Murray-NY Post
This story isn’t going away anytime soon, despite the Nets’ best efforts. So far in camp they repeatedly have referred to themselves as a family — whether it’s coordinated is open to interpretation — and Durant toed that party line.
Durant met with Nash, Marks and Nets owner Joe Tsai on Aug. 22 in Los Angeles to hash things out. And when asked what was said to assuage his doubts, Durant revealed the meeting may have been short, but the dialogue that swayed him wasn’t.
“Well, I was upset and, as a family, they understood that I was upset,” Durant said. “Some of the stuff they agreed with, so we talked about it. And it was over a couple of months, couple of weeks towards the end of that where we talked about it. We came out and voiced all our concerns about how we all can be better, and it just worked out from there. I’m glad I’m here now.”
The fact Durant is still here — in a league where stars who demand trades almost invariably get them — has surprised some. So — other than the four-year, $192 million extension that kicks in this season — why exactly did Durant relent?
For the same reason he inked the deal in the first place.
“I felt like we had a good team,” Durant said. “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. So, to be honest, I thought it was still a great option, too.
“I didn’t want it to get in the way of the games being played. I still love my teammates, love playing at the Barclays. So I felt like it regardless is going to 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. So I just looked at that.”Kevin Durant said offseason rumors surrounding the Nets were innacurate.Noah K. Murray-NY Post
The cynic might suggest Durant also looked at what would’ve been left on the gutted roster of any team that dealt for him, and realized the Nets were superior — especially after the return to health of Ben Simmons and Joe Harris.
“Look at it in the grand scheme of things,” Durant said. “We haven’t been healthy at all for two years. It’s been each playoffs we’ve had major guys just miss minutes: Not just role players, guys that make a lot of money.
“When you’ve got $50 million on your bench this last playoffs with Joe and Ben, and then playoffs before that (Kyrie Irving and James Harden). I want to see what our team look like in full with guys being healthy and us having a little bit of continuity. So we’ll see what happens.”
The NBA will be watching, and won’t move on until they see.