Kevin Durant will stay in Brooklyn after trade request


The saga surrounding Nets star Kevin Durant’s next destination came to a disappointing conclusion on Tuesday, when the team announced it would be keeping the 12-time all-star in Brooklyn.

General Manager Sean Marks announced the news in a statement saying that Durant and the Nets “have agreed to continue our partnership. We are focused on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: to build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn. The ad features the Nets’ logo alongside that of Boardroom, Durant’s media company founded with manager Rich Kleiman.

Durant has reportedly been chased by the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors and, most recently, the Memphis Grizzlies. His decision to stay with Brooklyn comes two weeks after Durant reiterated his trade request and told Nets owner Joe Tsai to pick him or Marks and coach Steve Nash. according to athletics.

Tsai responded with a tweet showing his support for the front office and coaching staff.

A two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP, Durant will continue a tenure in Brooklyn that has been defined by drama.

Durant, who left Golden State to team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn shortly after tearing his Achilles in the 2019 Finals, tried to end the fling three years later. hours before the NBA free agency period opened on June 30 and barely two weeks after the The Warriors won their first title since his departure, Durant officially requested a trade after a grueling 2021-22 season that ended in a Celtics’ humiliating first-round sweep.

Durant’s tenure in Brooklyn was hazy, in part because he was so closely aligned with the coronavirus pandemic. The four-time scoring champion missed the 2019-20 season as he recovered from his Achilles injury, and he opted not to rush back for the organized bubble in Orlando. During the condensed 2020-21 season, Durant was limited to 35 games due to injuries and lack of coronavirus protocol before embarking on a sensational playoff run that ended in a loss in the second. round against the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks.

Last season, Durant again missed time with an injury that limited him to 55 games, then he had one of the most forgettable playoffs of his career against the Celtics.

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Along the way, the The Nets made a successful trade with the Houston Rockets for James Harden in January 2021, then reversed course by trade custody of the Stars for the Philadelphia 76ers last February.

One of the main drivers of Brooklyn’s instability has been Irving, who has missed a lot of time over the past three seasons due to injuries, personal absences and eligibility issues related to his refusal to make vaccinate against coronavirus. While Durant was careful to always defend Irving in public, it was clear the Nets needed major changes after their disappointing performance against the Celtics. In a sign of how quickly Brooklyn has fallen apart, Durant’s trade request came less than a year after he signed a four-year, $198 million extension.

At first, Durant seemed to view the Nets as an opportunity to once again be the face of his own franchise, expand his business and media portfolio in a major market, and build a list filled with his friends. Brooklyn is committed to cultivating a player-friendly culture, even deferring to its stars on issues such as playing time and injury management.

That philosophical approach backfired in the 2021-22 season, as Irving’s vaccination saga overshadowed the Nets’ season, contributed to Harden’s departure and placed a huge burden on Durant. Organizational inexperience was at the root of many of Brooklyn’s shortcomings: Tsai didn’t take full ownership of the franchise until 2019, Marks was a relatively new executive with no previous experience managing high-profile superstars, and Steve Nash was a first-time coach when he was hired in 2020.

Time and again after Durant and Irving landed, the Nets seemed to have bitten off more than they could chew. While Brooklyn had the second-highest payroll in the NBA last season — behind Golden State — it was the only one of the 16 playoff teams to not win a playoff game.

Even so, Durant played at an MVP-caliber level when healthy throughout his tenure with the Nets, averaging 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game. last season. Still, with just one playoff win during his time in Brooklyn, the undisputed highlight of Durant’s post-Achilles era was his pivotal role in USA Basketball’s gold medal winning team at the Tokyo Olympics. Otherwise, he was forced to watch arch-rivals LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry win championships while the Nets repeatedly fell short of expectations.

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