As many had predicted this fall, the Kevin Durant situation feels far from over.
The day after Brooklyn was decimated by the Sacramento Kings, allowing 153 points during their 32-point loss in Sacramento, Kevin Durant sat down with B/R’s Chris Haynes for an exclusive interview.
While Durant was persistent throughout the article that he’s “happy to be playing basketball”, he still doesn’t sound pleased with the position the team (and himself) are in.
B/R Exclusive: Kevin Durant Explains Trade Request, Coaching Frustrations and More
In exclusive interview with @BleacherReport and after suffering 32-point blowout to Kings, Kevin Durant reveals details of trade request along with all things Nets are going through: “I went to them and was like, ‘Yo, I don't like how we are preparing.’ https://t.co/Qt4L1pHbu1— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 16, 2022
Durant told Haynes the following when asked about the past demands:
“It wasn’t difficult at all to request a trade because it was about ball,” Durant told B/R. “I went to them and was like, ‘Yo, I don’t like how we are preparing. I don’t like shootarounds. I like practices. I need more. I want to work on more s—t. Hold me accountable. Get on my ass in film if that’s going to help you get on everybody else’s head. I want to do more closeouts. I want to work on more shell drills at practice.’
“This was the type of s—t I was coming at them with. It wasn’t like, ‘Yo, y’all need to make sure everybody around me can make my life easier.’ Hell nah, I want to make everybody else’s life easier. Ask Steve Nash, you can go call him right now. I would say, ‘Yo, I need more closeout drills. We need to practice more.’ That’s what I was on.
Speaking of Chris Haynes’ and Kevin Durant’s relationship, now seems like an ideal time to remind everyone that the Phoenix Suns were atop KD’s preferred destinations upon his original trade request in June.
Kevin Durant has the Phoenix Suns listed as a preferred trade destination, league sources tell @YahooSports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 30, 2022
“I wasn’t feeling that, and nobody was on that same vibe with me. Jacque Vaughn is. I had some complaints in the summer, and my complaints were not about just me; it was about how we are moving as a unit. I want us to be respected out here in the basketball world. I don’t want players to look at us and say, ‘Oh man, these [expletive] are full of s—t. That’s not the type of team I want to be on.’ So when we’re all playing like s—t, you know the one person they’re going to look at. That’s why I requested a trade.”
In Year 16, Durant says he takes pride in remaining a top-level player and wants to set an example of how a player can maximize situations that may not be ideal. He said the Nets don’t measure up with the best in the league on paper, but he hopes to instill confidence into his teammates that they have a legitimate chance against anyone.
“Look at our starting lineup. Edmond Sumner, Royce O’Neale, Joe Harris, [Nic] Claxton and me. It’s not disrespect, but what are you expecting from that group?” Durant asked of B/R. “You expect us to win because I’m out there. So if you’re watching from that lens, you’re expecting us to play well because No. 7 is out there.
The specific shots at players currently on the roster is certainly an... interesting route to take for Durant here. I just can’t see this ending well, and the timing for it to drop the night after losing by 32 to the Kings is interesting.
The Kevin Durant saga is far from over, and it’s likely if the Nets continue to struggle that the Suns will emerge as one of the favorites (again) to land his services.
Suns fans, if you haven’t already, it’s time to circle January 15th on your calendars.