Nets Owner Backs Team Leaders Amid Durant’s Reported Ultimatum – The New York Times

Nets Owner Backs Team Leaders Amid Durant's Reported Ultimatum - The New York Times

Joe Tsai, the owner of the Nets, released a statement of support for the team’s front office and coaching staff Monday evening on Twitter and added, “We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

The tweet appeared to be in response to a report by The Athletic that said the team’s star forward, Kevin Durant, still insisted the Nets were meeting business demand he made in june

The Networks did not respond to a request for comment, and a spokeswoman for Durant’s company, Boardroom, declined to comment.

Tsai’s Twitter post was an unusual escalation of a simmering feud between Durant, 33, and the Nets. Tsai has rarely weighed in on basketball matters publicly, and just a year ago Durant appeared to be happily married to the Nets, agreeing to four-year contract extension with the team he signed with in the summer of 2019.

But much of Durant’s three seasons with the Nets didn’t go according to plan and didn’t was marked by turmoil.

Durant, recovering from a tendinous Achilles injury, signed with the franchise along with his friends, star guard Kyrie Irving and veteran center DeAndre Jordan. During the 2020-21 season, the Nets traded many of their young players, along with several draft picks, to Houston for James Harden, seemingly assembling one of the most formidable star groups in NBA history.

But injuries prevented the three stars from seeing the court very often. They played only 16 games together and had a dominant record of 13-3. In the 2021 playoffs, the Nets lost in the second round to the Milwaukee Bucks, the eventual champions.

Last season, the Nets were once again optimistic that they would live up to their lofty expectations. But Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19 meant he couldn’t play in home games until later in the season due to A New York rule that was later lifted. A frustrated Harden asked the Nets for a trade, and the Nets sent him to the division rival Philadelphia 76ers. for Ben Simmons. And again, Durant, like other players of the team, dealt with injuries, forcing Nash push newcomers into unexpected roles.

The Nets hit rock bottom in the playoffs, where they were swept in the first round of the Boston Celtics, an embarrassing result for a team that looked to be – on paper – one of the most talented teams of the decade.

Durant’s trade request was a bombshell that shocked many league observers. First, the Nets were projected to enter training camp with an impressive roster that includes Simmons, a three-time All-Star, and Irving, who opted out of the final year of his contract. But a player of Durant’s caliber almost never makes a trade request like this with four years left on his contract.

Durant’s trade value, despite his resume, is uncertain, in part because of how rare his request is and also because of Durant himself. In three years with the Nets, he played 90 regular season games out of a possible 236 due to injuries. He will be entering his 16th season, a stage by which most players are already in steep decline. But when Durant played, he mostly looked like he always has: a generational talent.

Durant’s talent makes him a tempting risk for a team looking to put itself over the top, not the least of which is that when a team trades for him, he might not want to stick around.

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