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Kevin Durant's ultimatum and the cost of doing business

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Three years ago, the Brooklyn Nets made a historic leap in free agency by signing coordinated deals with both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. All great players wield a certain level of influence (often they deserve it), but many of the reports on the Nets in recent seasons point to Durant and Irving being the driving force behind decisions made across the organization. It is characterized as having The coach was fired and replaced. The roster has been reworked to suit Durant and Irving’s tastes, accessories his center DeAndre his Jordan joins the team on his $40 million deal and the Nets trade James Harden for his third star destroyed the young core for

All of these decisions can be explained by some warned blend of injuries, opportunities, and circumstances. But ultimately, those choices were on the same basis that Durant reportedly followed his request over the weekend to either move him or trade him with an ultimatum to fire the team’s head coach and general manager. It was done for a reason.

this Negotiated by the Nets.

Pull has always been part of the appeal. Brooklyn has struck a clear partnership with Durant and, in turn, Irving as a future central figure. A source told ESPN’s Kevin Arnowitz that the Nets will bring in Irving, and the luggage caravan that will follow him, is “the cost of doing business” to acquire Durant. Irving was relaxed from the beginning. The fact that the greatest man of all time wanted to play with his friends made him an important part of the franchise. Perhaps it’s unkind to his Irving, one of the game’s most advanced shot creators, but the differences between the two superstars and his teammates’ positions are becoming increasingly apparent. I’m here.

At the final official press conference of the 2021-22 season, Irving assured the assembled media that he plans to return to the Nets despite a tumultuous year and a disappointing end. We talked about not only being part of a franchise, but also “managing” it with Durant, team governor Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks. (Not specifically mentioned is head coach Steve Nash.) It was a rejection of reality. At least it was Kylie’s misunderstanding of how much his reality had changed.

Irving spoke that day as if he had stepped out of a time machine from 2019. will do, in the future tense of time travel? ) derailing Brooklyn’s season. That he still had the same degree of input. Even after being deliberately unavailable for much of the season, he was still the steward of the franchise. His relationship with the franchise changed when he decided it wasn’t in his best interest to do so.

Durant continued to show up whenever his body allowed. too much To maintain a compromised superteam. His KD last season still made him one of the best players in the world, and he also had all the voices the Nets wanted him to have. Now, despite his increased demands on the organization, Durant is still doing what he was brought to Brooklyn, more or less. Explain to. Sometimes it looks like leadership. Sometimes it looks like this.

The real question is whether Durant’s trade demands have broken that dynamic, as Irving did, or simply complicated it. On the one hand, the very fact that Durant’s future with the franchise is a matter of meeting and negotiating speaks volumes. The Nets have some very real reasons for wanting to keep one of the world’s best basketball players on the roster for as long as humanly possible. And then there’s the reality that the player is demanding in the clear light that the coach and general manager be fired, causing such an uproar that the team governor felt compelled to respond on Twitter. .

“Our front office and coaching staff support me,” Tsai said. murmured on monday. “We make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

As far as statements are concerned, it’s a bit vague. It’s also noticeably uncommitted. “Support” is far from a guarantee in the modern NBA, and it’s hard to imagine how it might be in the franchise’s best interest to keep Kevin obsessed with Durant rather than coaches and executives. All in all, that tweet feels like an assertion by the team owner that times have changed. Even though he has met with Durant to discuss how to convince him to stay.

The whole situation is a mess, but a mess like Brooklyn might happily sweep under the rug and ignore it if possible. . Hell, just setting Durant a fair return in a trade is hard enough. All the questions sound silly because Durant is such a silly player. That may be the only reason he’s still in the net about six weeks after requesting a trade. Does he really want Marks and Nash gone? Or is he just trying to shock the Nets system? You can create leverage by putting one foot outside the door, especially if you are.