Kevin Durant agreed to return to the Brooklyn Nets last month after a prolonged period of demanding a trade.
One of the key elements of this entire situation was Durant allegedly requesting that either ownership get rid of head coach Steve Nash or him.
Durant wasn’t the only player on the roster who had a problem with Nash’s way of doing things.
This week, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal weighed in on that entire mess and what he believes the Nets’ main problem is at this point.
O’Neal’s thoughts were particularly illuminating.
“A guy asked me the other day, ‘you ever think about coaching?’ And the answer is no. He said why? When a guy makes 20 times more than you, it’s gonna be hard for them to respect you. It shows that they don’t respect him,” O’Neal said in an interview with Bill Difilippo of Uproxx.
And then O’Neal related this anecdote to what is happening in Brooklyn.
“All the ‘I want him gone, I want him gone,’ and then to come back and say we worked it out, nah, it ain’t that easy. As adults, we can have a heart-to-heart, we can iron it out,” O’Neal added.
“But it’s still right here. So when things don’t go right, they’re gonna blame it on him. So, he’s gonna have to demand their respect. As a player, if you know you were better than a former player who’s now a coach, it’s gonna be hard for you to, in tough situations, listen to him. So, it’s gonna be tough.”
Now that’s a proper NFL outfit. https://t.co/pUirUW0ftZ
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 9, 2022
Durant underwent a pretty significant body transformation this summer. He is looking very jacked these days. If his new frame helps him lead the Nets to a championship, all of the stuff between him and Nash will be forgotten.
If it doesn’t, though – it’s hard to see how both Durant and Nash return in 2023-24.