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Kevin Durant spoke with reporters at the Brooklyn Nets media day on Monday, providing insight into his business application and surprising lack of it that hasn’t been addressed.
“I committed to this organization for four years last summer, with the idea that we would play with that group that we kind of went to the second round with [in the 2020-21 postseason]. I felt like another year of that, being healthy, was building something towards the future. And then as the season went on – I saw what happened last season, the players in and out of the squad, the injuries, a lot of uncertainty that put some doubt in my mind about the next four years of my career. I’m getting older, I want to be in a stable place. Trying to build a tournament culture, so I had some doubts about that. And I told them [team governor Joe Tsai]. And we proceeded from there.”
Durant added that he loved the off-season moves made by Nets and general manager Sean Marks over the summer, and feels as though last season’s difficulties could act as a catalyst for this year’s group.
“A year of us look in the mirror, like, ‘We worked as a team, and that just makes you better,'” Reporters.
The Nets faced what looked like a decade of adversity and controversy in the 2021-22 season.
Durant’s teammate, Keri Irving, was unable to play in the vast majority of the team’s home games in Brooklyn due to New York City’s vaccination rules for city employees, and he started the year completely off the team. James Harden became unhappy and forced into the trade, eventually moving to the Philadelphia 76ers. The focus of Brooklyn’s return to Harden, Ben Simmons, has never played for the team due to a back injury. Durant’s injury problems were limited to just 55 games.
The result was a berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs, as the Nets advanced and faced the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs. They were instantly swept away–an embarrassing result for a team with a Brooklyn pool of talent.
This led to a summer of uncertainty. Irving was in the trade block before he made his player choice. Durant submitted his trade order. After only three seasons of joining forces, it looked as if the duo might break up.
Instead, they’ll at least give it a go, with Irving’s free agency looming next summer still on hold all season. There is no doubt that the nets are full of talent.
The question is whether they can avoid the level of drama that has engulfed the 2021-22 season.