Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets after spending all of 2 complete postseasons with the Brooklyn Nets. Moreover, he asked for a meeting with the franchise owner Joe Tsai to discuss alternatives in the event that Durant is not traded.
To the surprise of many, the 2x NBA champion blames the management in the organization. Specifically, their coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. Everyone thought Durant had a problem with Kyrie Irving up until that point. Therefore, this demand stunned the world and flipped the situation over completely.
Sources: Kevin Durant informed Joe Tsai that he does not have faith in the Nets‘ direction. The meeting was described as transparent and professional, with a clear message: Keep me — or the GM and coach. https://t.co/W1voNf9MDC https://t.co/0lbBay2OxF
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 8, 2022
It is important to try to decode what problems KD has with these members of management. This will help predict the owner’s decision and the future of the Brooklyn Nets organization.
Kevin Durant blames the James Harden fiasco on the team management and not Kyrie Irving
No party is completely in the right or in the wrong. Each of the “dominoes” fell in a sequence that leads to Durant now wanting a trade. So there is only everyone’s mind. Why would KD have reason to blame the coach and general manager?
It is the easy route to claim that Kyrie Irving dislikes them more and influenced his friend. This is obviously possible, but may not be all that is convincing the 2x NBA Finals MVP to make this move. Thus, we need to understand the crucial moves the Nets made in the past few years.
A few years ago, Kyrie was on the Nets, but Durant was injured from the 2019 postseason. At the time Irving revealed what moves he thought Brooklyn needs to make. “I’m going to continue to reiterate it we’re going to do the best with the guys we have within our locker room now and we worry about all the other stuff in terms of moving pieces and everything else as an organization down the line in the summer….”
Irving seemed to think he would have a say in the Nets’ roster decisions for the upcoming season. He specifically explained what he thought the Nets needed, “Collectively, I feel like we have great pieces. Obviously, it’s pretty glaring that we will need one more piece or two more pieces that will compliment me, KD DJ, GT, Spence, and Caris and we’ll see how that evolves”.
We all know LeBron James has the notorious “LeGM” nickname as he is constantly involved in team management decisions. Therefore, it is not a stretch to claim that Kevin Durant or even Kyrie Irving could have this same impact on their respective teams.
The Nets traded for Harden before giving Irving and Durant a chance together in the NBA playoffs
This is the most significant point Durant could have personally against the Nets management. There is no doubt that James Harden wanted out of Houston and was looking to go to a competing team. However, Sean Marks offered way too much in the trade package for Harden and even included Caris Levert, a player Kyrie said he wanted on the team.
Adding another ball handler to a team with two isolation-style stars simply makes no sense. It would mean an overwhelming amount of offensive talent and less defense. When they finally got to the playoffs, James Harden was injured and clearly not the player he used to be. He played through his pain but was more of a liability. Irving got injured in the series as well. Therefore, it fell upon KD to carry the team and he failed to do so.
The next season, the vaccine mandate created conflict in the team. Irving did not want to get it and Durant was injured midway through the season. Thus, an agitated Harden forced his way out of the team and went to the Philadelphia 76ers. In return, the Nets got a neat package centered around Ben Simmons.
Ben Simmons has gone through his fair share of physical and mental ordeals over the past few years. Everyone expected him to play, but he did not suit up for the Nets this season and they were swept by the Boston Celtics.
From this perspective, quite a lot of blame must be placed on the Nets management. They traded for an additional star, then traded him away for a player who did not even suit up for them. These alone are good enough reasons for KD to demand that Nash and Marks be gone.