Why Kevin Durant’s ultimatum to the Nets only needs a one-word answer from owner Joe Tsai

Give Kevin Durant so much credit: The man is not afraid to go to the mattresses.

But let the praise, awe or understanding stop there. Durant’s decision this week to sit down with brooklyn nets owner Joe Tsai and filed a me-or-them ultimatum is the latest proof that the only thing Durant can excel at more than basketball is an uncanny knack for turning tone deafness into an art form.

She’s a carefree diva. And Tsai has to say the same word to the man as Nets GM Sean Marks did, as we suggested here when news of Durant’s trade request first surfaced, the word that led to all that blast to bring down Tsai’s team: Nope.

No, Kevin, you’re not responsible.

No, Kevin, we’re not going to blow up our team, or trade you, or — flag Durant’s last potential power play — fire every adult in the room for not processing your anger. as the world’s shrewdest reaction to difficulty.

Let’s see why, in London, Durant allegedly told the Nets owner he had to either trade him – or fire head coach Steve Nash and Marks.

It’s not, as Shams Charania reported for The Athletic, because Durant is “transparent and professional,” the description of the supposed high-powered confab vibe. All of this happens, including the timing and tone of this news, as Durant has too often made a habit of being neither transparent nor professional.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to read this article by Charania, a world-class specialist NBA newsbreaker who himself has at times been transparent about his willingness to haul water for the sources that allow him to offer such accurate and valuable information, and infers that Durant or those close to him leaked the report in exchange for throwing all this in a favorable light.

So, KD’s latest me-me-me-me move is being sold as an above-the-chart power broker that handles such difficulties with poise and maturity. Don’t buy it for a second.

Strip away the quid-pro-quo that’s the heartbeat of breaking sports news, and “has no confidence in team management” actually translates to: didn’t do my bidding.

As in: Durant demanded a trade, Marks said no, and the superstar, unaccustomed to that word, responded with a next-level move. The choice now is him or them. Despite the details, you know, exactly a year before Tsai reunited, Durant signed a four-year, $198 million contract extension.

Durant doesn’t just say keep me or keep them. He says, however reporters try to portray his latest diva request, either trade him — or make him the boss.

Listen, Durant is a basketball player of otherworldly talent and dedication. His talent borders on the miraculous and his love for the game is clear. He’s also, when he’s not becoming a complete diva, by all accounts a great guy. Human beings are complicated, and we can be many things at once: talented, dedicated, hungry, kind, interesting, insightful, and full of petty grievances and insecurities.

None of this is to say Durant is a bad person, like it belongs in a sports column. That’s to say that many of the all-time greats are remarkably awful string pullers and future GMs. Look to the west, Tsai, to the Los Angeles Lakers and an james lebron for a real-time callback.

Trade Durant (for the right price) or not. Believe in him or decide you’ve had enough. But don’t let Durant burn it all down because last year was tough. Don’t let him hold you hostage because he failed to demand a trade that would devastate the Nets without a fair return. Don’t let it end Marks’ run as a proven great GM or a Nash Hall of Fame player who deserves more time to show what he can or can’t do as a head coach.

It’s scorched earth. Things have gone wrong, let me go. You won’t just betray me, fire everyone. You won’t fire everyone, okay, it’s time for the public press bomb campaign.

That’s the other part of it.

It is beyond credulity to entertain the idea that Tsai or his entourage leaked this news. There is no need. The Nets owner doesn’t need to take advantage of himself by leaking a blockbuster news to put the pressure on himself. He is the decision maker. So if this Shams report came from Durant and the people around him – as seems pretty clear, especially given the pinkish presentation of Durant’s end of things – then KD is gone in 24 hours. , directly after asking Tsai to fire Nash and Marks, to try to publicly pressure Tsai to do so.

It’s a tantrum. Or hard ball. Or both. But anyway, it’s a bad deal, and there is one word left in responseeither to trade a generational talent like KD for less than you want in return, or to fire the GM who won’t, along with his hand-picked head coach:


No, Kevin.


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