NBA

'I was upset' – Kevin Durant looks to move forward from the Brooklyn Nets' offseason drama

By Sports Desk September 30, 2022

Kevin Durant said he’s looking forward to another season with the Brooklyn Nets, instead of looking back on a tumultuous offseason that saw the NBA superstar request a trade and reportedly ask for his coach and general manager’s dismissal.

"Can we move on past that at some point?" Durant told reporters following Friday’s practice. "I know it’s an interesting story. I know that it took up most of the offseason and drama sells. I get that, but I didn’t miss any games, I didn’t miss any practices.

"I’m still here, so hopefully we can move past that."

Durant is back for a third season in Brooklyn after eventually rescinding the trade demand that created a firestorm around NBA circles for much of the summer. The 2013-14 league MVP and two-time NBA Finals MVP acknowledged during Monday’s media day that he’s no longer at odds with the organisation after ironing out his differences in a lengthy discussion with team owner Joe Tsai in August.

"I was upset," Durant stated. "And as a family, they understood that I was upset, some of the stuff they agreed with. So we talked about it, and it was over a couple of months, a couple of weeks, towards the end of that where we talked about it.

"We came out and we voiced all our concerns about how we can all be better. And it just worked out from there, and I’m glad I’m here now."

Durant refused to expound on the rumours that he also requested the firings of head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks following the Nets’ disappointing and injury-plagued 2021-22 season.

"There’s a lot of (stuff) that was inaccurate," he said. "But it’s like I don’t want to go through it right now."

Nash also said earlier this week that he didn’t entirely believe the reports that Durant had asked for his ousting.

"I never thought that was 100 per cent," he said. "It’s not black and white like that, so there was a lot of factors. A lot of things behind the scenes. A lot of things that are reported are not 100 per cent accurate. So you get fragmented bits of truth. You get things that are flat out not true. It happens. So I never really got caught up in all that stuff.”

With his differences behind him, Durant said he’s eagerly awaiting the new season and the chance for the Nets to erase the memory of a turbulent 2021-22 campaign that saw the franchise trade disgruntled All-Star James Harden midseason and had Kyrie Irving limited to just 29 games, in large part due to New York City’s vaccination requirement that prevented the star point guard from playing most of the team’s home games.

The Nets also head into 2022-23 with a healthy Ben Simmons, the key player Brooklyn received from the Philadelphia 76ers in the Harden trade. The three-time All-Star has yet to appear in a game with the Nets and missed all of last season due to a lingering feud with his former team and a back injury that later required surgery.

"When you look at the grand scheme of things, we haven’t been healthy at all for two years," Durant said. "Each playoffs we didn’t have major guys, (they) miss minutes. Not just role players, but guys that make a lot of money.

"When you got $50 million dollars on your bench this last playoffs with Joe [Harris] and Ben and then the playoffs before that, I want to see what our team looks like in full, with guys being healthy, with us having a little bit of continuity. So we’ll see what happens."

Related items

  • Booker revels in 'MVP' chants from adoring Suns fans after 51-point haul Booker revels in 'MVP' chants from adoring Suns fans after 51-point haul

    Devin Booker lauded the support of the Phoenix Suns' adoring fans after being serenaded with chants of "MVP" during his 51-point showing against the Chicago Bulls.

    Having put up 44 points in Monday's win over the Sacramento Kings, Booker continued his hot streak as the Suns secured a sixth victory on the bounce, downing the Bulls 132-113.

    The Footprint Arena resonated with chants for Booker to land the MVP prize, and the 26-year-old was loving it.

    "It's the best," Booker said about the home crowd.

    "I don't know how many sell-out crowds that is in a row, but it's impressive.

    "Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays, it doesn't matter what day of the week it is. They show up and show out."

    Booker added 26 of his 51 points in the third quarter, including making five-of-five from three-point range.

    It was the fourth 25-point quarter in Booker's career, tied with Kobe Bryant for second most in the past 25 years.

    Booker shot at 80 per cent from the field, making six-of-seven from three-point range, while he also added four rebounds and six assists before sitting out most of the final quarter.

    It marked Booker's fourth career 50-point game, which is the most in franchise history.

    "It felt like a double-sized rim out there," Booker said. "If I rise up, it's going in."

  • Booker piles on season-high 51 points in 31 minutes, Tatum scores 49 in Celtics win Booker piles on season-high 51 points in 31 minutes, Tatum scores 49 in Celtics win

    Devin Booker continued his hot scoring run with a season-high 51 points in only 31 minutes as the Phoenix Suns won 132-113 over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

    Booker, who scored 44 points against the Sacramento Kings on Monday, added 26 of his 51 points in the third quarter, including making five-of-five from three-point range.

    It was the fourth 25-point quarter in Booker's career, tied with Kobe Bryant for second most in the past 25 years.

    Booker shot at 80 per cent from the field, making six-of-seven from three-point range, while he also added four rebounds and six assists before sitting out most of the final quarter.

    It marked Booker's fourth career 50-point game, which is the most in franchise history.

    Suns center Deandre Ayton contributed 30 points with 14 rebounds and two blocks as Phoenix improved to 15-6.

    The Bulls fall to 9-12, with DeMar DeRozan top scoring with 29 points with seven rebounds.

    Tatum stars in front of royals with 49-point haul

    Jayson Tatum scored a season-high 49 points as the Boston Celtics maintained their perfect home record in November with a 134-121 victory over the Miami Heat.

    The Celtics small forward scored 28 of his points in the first half, which is the most in any half this season, while he also had 11 rebounds, three assists and two assists. Jaylen Brown added 26 points with seven rebounds in a game attended by the Prince and Princess of Wales, who sat courtside.

    Tatum brought up his fifth 45-point game, which is second behind Larry Bird (19) in Celtics history, having moved ahead of Paul Pierce (four).

    Hot Nets above .500 for first time this season

    The Brooklyn Nets claimed their fifth straight home win as Kevin Durant scored 39 points in a 113-107 victory over the Washington Wizards.

    Durant managed a game-high 39 points on 13-of-20 shooting with five rebounds and five assists, while Kyrie Irving added 15 of his 27 points in the final quarter.

    The win improved the Nets to 12-11, moving above .500 for the first time this season on the back of three straight wins.

  • Tatum after 49-point game: MVP chants are 'something I dreamed about as a kid' Tatum after 49-point game: MVP chants are 'something I dreamed about as a kid'

    Jayson Tatum says hearing the Boston Celtics' fans chanting "M-V-P" for him is something he dreamed about as a kid.

    Tatum scored a season-high 49 points in the Celtics' 134-121 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday, where he played in front of the Prince and Princess of Wales, who sat courtside.

    The fans quickly moved on from the royals' presence as they chanted "M-V-P" in honour of Tatum as early as the first quarter after scoring his side's first six points.

    The 24-year-old small forward shot eight-of-12 from three-point range along with 15-of-25 from the field, while making 11-of-12 from the line.

    Tatum, who has previously spoken about wanting to one day be the MVP, also had 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals in an all-round display showcasing why the Celtics fans adore him.

    "That means everything," Tatum told ESPN about the "M-V-P" chants. "That's something I dreamed about as a kid.

    "To hear it in front of our home crowd, in front of the best fans in the world, holds a special place in my heart. I love this place. I love being here.

    "Hearing that during the game gives you chills."

    Tatum's scoring performance was his third 40-point game this season, while he became the first player in NBA history to record multiple games of 45-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and eight-plus three-pointers.

    It was also Tatum's ninth 30-point game in November, which is the equal most in a calendar month in his career. Only Larry Bird (10) has more in a month for the Celtics.

    Tatum also became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 900 three-pointers made.

    "I'm just glad I hit some threes tonight," he said. "I've been shooting terribly from three, so it just felt good to see some go in… I'll get 50 a game one day."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.