The animosity between Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets may just be beginning.
ESPNs Brian Windhorst said Durant’s next step in forcing a trade could be the training camp.
“If you had asked me a week ago, ‘Will Kevin Durant postpone training camp if he doesn’t get traded?’ I would have been like, ‘Ehh, I can’t see it.’ Now I can see it. That’s where we’re headed,” Windhorst said on the… Hope Collective podcasting.
Durant told Nets Governor Joe Tsai he wanted a trade at the end of June. The organization has been moving at an icy pace in recent weeks and has set an understandably huge price tag for the 12-time All-Star.
Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that Durant met again with Tsai earlier this month and said he would fire coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks if the team wanted him back next season. Tsai publicly responded to the report on Twitter, saying he has no intention of responding to Durant’s demands.
Allowing such a drastic demand to be leaked publicly was probably a power play on Durant’s part.
Given the lack of tangible movement on the trade front, Durant’s best way to force a move is to make the situation as toxic as possible. Publicly demanding the impeachment of a general manager and a coach is one of the greatest things a player has in his hand.
If the Nets fail to make a trade for the camp, Nash and every player on the roster will have to constantly answer questions about Durant’s desire to remove the coach. When Durant shows up, every interaction between player and coach is in the spotlight. If he holds out, Durant will take center stage in a different way.
Either way, the situation will be a circus. After the complete mess that was the 2021-22 season in Brooklyn, every member of senior management probably wants a more harmonious group next season.
Durant seems determined to make that as difficult as possible. It’s a strategy that will evoke a lot of public disdain, but it might be his best bet to leave Brooklyn before the season starts.