For the first time since requesting a trade, Kevin Durant spoke publicly at Brooklyn Nets Media Day ahead of the 2022-23 season.
After a drama-filled offseason, fans weren’t sure that they’d get to see Kevin Durant (or Kyrie Irving) suit up in a Brooklyn Nets jersey again. Durant requested a trade on June 30, and nearly three months later, the 33-year-old spoke publicly for the first time at Media Day.
Last summer, KD signed a four-year, $198 million contract extension. It was a move that signified his commitment to bringing a title to Brooklyn, but less than a year later, his future with the organization suddenly became murky. Nearly two months of trade rumors passed before Durant agreed to move forward with his “partnership” with the Nets.
As usual, Durant was active on Twitter during the offseason, but on Monday, he defended his trade request by going into detail about why he decided to do so in the first place.
Kevin Durant cites ‘uncertainty’ around Nets as reason for trade request
Kevin Durant addressed the extension that he signed last year, but he said that as the season progressed, the uncertainties surrounding the team caused him to start to have doubts.
Between Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status, Durant’s MCL injury, and the James Harden saga, Brooklyn went from being a preseason title favorite to getting swept in the first round of the playoffs by Boston. Although the Nets were dealt a bad hand with KD’s injury, he said that he felt as if the team as a whole wasn’t holding themselves accountable.
In games without Durant in 2021-22, the Nets went 8-19. There’s no denying that KD was by far the best player on Brooklyn’s roster last season (and he still is), but without him, the Nets absolutely imploded.
Last year, Durant signed the extension under the belief that he would be playing alongside a committed Kyrie Irving and James Harden. That didn’t happen. The issues continually piled up for Brooklyn in 2021-22, and a little bit of accountability would’ve gone a long way for the organization.
Durant isn’t set to become an unrestricted free agent until the 2026 offseason, but the 2022-23 season is particularly important for the Nets because Irving is going to be an unrestricted free agent next summer. If Brooklyn can stay healthy, form chemistry, and most importantly, hold each other accountable, the Nets could end up winning their first NBA title. Then again, we’ve heard that one before.
Let’s see what Brooklyn and KD can accomplish this year. It’ll all start on Oct. 19 at Barclays Center.