Kevin Durant's latest NBA demand creates havoc for Brooklyn Nets

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Kevin Durant claps during an NBA game.
Kevin Durant has reportedly told the Brooklyn Nets to choose between him, or keeping coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets have once again been plunged into NBA drama, as Kevin Durant called for team owner Joe Tsai to sack the head coach and general manager in order for him to abandon his trade request.

It's been a dramatic off-season for the Nets, who were swept out of the playoffs in the first round by eventual Eastern Conference champions, the Boston Celtics.

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Durant demanded a trade away from the team in the wake of the loss, while All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving has also been linked to a potential trade to the Los Angeles Lakers.

High profile NBA reporter Shams Charania wrote on Tuesday that Durant had met with Tsai, and told him to choose between himself and the pairing of head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks.

Durant lacks faith in the direction of the team, according to the report.

Hours after the Monday afternoon report, Tsai tweeted that the Nets "front office and coaching staff have my support."

Durant, 33, is approaching his 16th NBA season and remains one of the game's elite offensive weapons. In 55 games last season, he averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists while shooting 51.8% from the field and 38.3% from 3-point distance.

The latest twist in Brooklyn's tumultuous off-season caused a substantial reaction from NBA fans on social media, many of whom were genuinely uncertain about where Durant might play next season.

The Nets have been adamant they will not trade Durant, who signed a four-year contract extension with the team in 2021, unless they receive a sizeable haul in return.

Few teams are positioned to offer the Nets such a haul, though the Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns and Miami Heat have all been listed as potential trading partners.

Narrowly denied what would likely have been a run to the NBA Finals in 2021 by a raft of injuries and the tip of former MVP Kevin Durant's shoe, the Nets entered last season hot favourites for the title.

Cracks emerged immediately though, with Irving sittout out due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, only returing part-time for road games after the All-Star break.

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After being traded to the Nets at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season, James Harden demanded out and was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers, getting Benn Simmons and Seth Curry in return.

Marks said after the season that he wants players who can "be available" while casting doubt over Irving's future with the team.

The Nets and Irving did not agree to a long-term extension before Irving eventually opted into a $36.9 million option for the upcoming season.

He's slated to become a free agent in 2023.

Simmons has yet to play a game for the Nets, and news broke of a controversy of his own on Tuesday as well.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant's arrival in Brooklyn has not yieled the NBA dominance many predicted. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant's arrival in Brooklyn has not yieled the NBA dominance many predicted. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

NBA analyst Ric Bucher has claimed Simmons didn't reply to a group message among players asking if he would be ready to play for game four against Boston, before he subsequently left the chat.

“They’re having a team chat before Game four, thinking he’s going to play against the Celtics, and from what I’m told, Ben just left the chat,” told Colin Cowherd on his show.

“They asked him, ‘Are you going to play?’ Ben left the chat. Like he didn’t even answer the question. Just left the chat.”

The Nets hired Nash in 2020 to lead the rebuild around Durant and Kyrie Irving, who both joined the franchise the previous season, Kenny Atkinson's last as head coach.

The hiring arrived as a surprise around the NBA as Nash — a Hall of Fame point guard — had no prior head coaching experience when he took over a team built to compete for NBA championships.

The Nets are 92-62 under Nash and haven't advanced beyond the Eastern Conference semifinals in his two seasons.

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