Kevin Durant will stay in Brooklyn after trade request



The saga surrounding Nets star Kevin Durant’s next destination reached an anticlimactic point on Tuesday when the team announced it will keep 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 common goal: to build a lasting franchise to championship to Brooklyn.” The announcement will include Nets’ logo alongside that of Boardroom, the media company Durant co-created with manager Rich Kleiman.

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

Tsai responded with a tweet expressing his support for the front office and technical staff.

A two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP, Durant will continue a tenure in Brooklyn marked by drama.

Durant, who left Golden State to team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn shortly after tore his Achilles tendon during the 2019 finale, tried to pull the plug on the adventure just three years later. Hours before the NBA’s free agency term began on June 30, and just two weeks after the Warriors won their first title since leaving, Durant formally asked for a trade after an exhausting 2021-22 season that ended with a humiliating first round. of the Celtics.

Durant’s tenure in Brooklyn has been in a blur, in part because it is so closely aligned with the coronavirus pandemic. The four-time scoring champion sat out the 2019-20 season as he recovered from his Achilles tendon injury, and he chose not to rush to return for the bubble held in Orlando. During the shortened 2020-21 season, Durant was limited to 35 games due to injuries and absence from coronavirus protocol, before turning in a sensational postseason run that ended with a second-round loss to eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks.

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

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Along the way, the Nets swung a blockbuster with the Houston Rockets for James Harden in January 2021, then reversed course by swapping the all-star guard for the Philadelphia 76ers last February.

A major contributor to Brooklyn’s instability has been Irving, who has missed significant time over the past three seasons with injuries, personal absences and fitness issues related to his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Although Durant Irving always defended in public, it was clear that the Nets needed major changes after their disappointing performance against the Celtics. As a sign of how quickly Brooklyn was unraveling, Durant’s trade request came less than a year after he signed a four-year $198 million extension.

At first, Durant seemed to see the Nets as an opportunity to be the face of his own franchise again, expand his business and media portfolio in a major market, and build a roster with his friends. Brooklyn vowed to cultivate a player-friendly culture, even waiving its stars on things like game 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 the root cause 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 A-list superstars, and Steve Nash was a first coach back then. he was hired in 2020.

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

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

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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