Kevin Durant’s decision to request a trade from the Brooklyn Nets mere hours before the start of free agency last week stunned NBA observers.
There had been rumblings for a while that Durant was unhappy with the general state of affairs in Brooklyn, but this came out of left field. Particularly when Kyrie Irving just opted in a few days earlier.
Over the weekend, details began to emerge that painted a picture regarding Durant’s uneasiness.
Apparently, two major factors led to him asking off the Nets.
First and foremost, Durant is unhappy with the fact that his squad was the only one that was swept out of the playoffs in the first round. Which is understandable. Winners hate to lose. It makes sense.
Durant’s second reason, however, appears a bit less rational. He doesn’t like how the Nets treated Irving.
“Those who know Durant cite two primary factors: a rocky Nets season that ended in a first-round playoff sweep; and the franchise’s soured relationship with Irving, his close friend,” reported Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated.
“Durant doesn’t see much hope for a revival under the circumstances, those sources say. And he’s unhappy that his friend is unhappy.”
For most sane people, the fact that Durant is upset with the Nets over how they handled Irving is bananas. The front office has actually been extremely patient with him given the circumstances. This is a guy who, over the course of three seasons, has suited up for fewer than 50 percent of his team’s games.
In that span, the Nets made it out of the first round exactly once.
But Durant is a weird dude. He always has been.
As things currently stand, Durant can get traded anywhere. The Los Angeles Lakers’ best offer is a matter of public knowledge. Ditto for the Boston Celtics. The Toronto Raptors are also very much in the hunt, but there is one player they are refusing to include in any potential deal.
Really, there is only one team that is off the table when it comes to a Durant trade. Everyone else has a chance.
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 2, 2022
Irving, likewise, is also a goner. There is no real mystery regarding where he is going next, just how he will get there.
The Nets’ implosion has been shocking to watch, but it has really reinforced one key point: Durant is nuts.
And it’s time to stop pretending like he isn’t.
Him and Irving are cut from the same cloth, one is just more outward about his petulance while the other hides it better.