It’s NBA Media Day, which means players are back in their team’s facilities to gear up for another chance to compete for a Finals appearance. Though it’s early in the process, goals are established from the onset. For Kevin Durant, that only ever means one thing: to contend for a championship.
However, at this stage of his career, Durant is looking for more than just a place to compete. Heck, every team he plays for will be a contender at some level. But early into his availability at the Brooklyn Nets media day, Kevin Durant opened up about his trade request and the real reason why he decided to ask for a trade:
I feel like another year of that, us being healthy — you know, we’re building something toward the future. Then as the season went on, well you’ve seen what happened to our season. Guys in and out the lineup. Injuries. Just a lot of uncertainty which built some doubt in my mind about the next four years of my career.
I mean I’m getting older. I want to be in a place that’s stable and trying to build a championship culture. I had some doubts about that. I voiced them from Joe and we’ll go from there.
Culture and stability are key to the Kevin Durant era of the Brooklyn Nets.
If the Brooklyn Nets want to keep Durant healthy and make sure he doesn’t reinstate his trade request, they need to ensure that stability is the first thing they focus on. Durant continued to say that in the back of his mind, he always intended to stay with Brooklyn so long as the franchise showed a commitment to building it the way he originally envisioned.
Ultimately, that’s a fair perspective for a star athlete of Durant’s caliber. He was sold on the Nets being run one way when in reality, the last two seasons of his time there were hugely disappointing both on and off the court. They couldn’t make the James Harden pairing work despite their ‘Big Three’ being among the most talented the game had ever seen. Brooklyn moved Harden for a package of a player who left (Andre Drummond), a shooting specialist (Seth Curry) and Ben Simmons, who had serious issues with his back.
Now that the dust has cleared, this is the perfect opportunity for the Brooklyn Nets to bounce back and prove that they are the championship-caliber team that Kevin Durant craves. Despite his age and all of the injuries he’s overcome, Durant is as impactful of a scorer as ever. One of the greatest stars of all time, KD is coming off his best season as a playmaker.
The overarching message here for Brooklyn Nets decision-makers? Don’t screw it up.