At least that’s what it sounds like as the situation between Irving, Durant and the Nets — specifically GM Sean Marks and owner Joseph Tsai — deteriorates. Logan Murdoch of The Ringer, who spent time with Durant and wrote about his more zen attitude a few months agosaid on the Ringer’s Mismatch podcast that KD sees the situation as a failure of vision on the part of the Nets (hat tip Nets Daily).
I made some calls. Kevin Durant has not talked to the team in weeks. I don’t think Kevin is confident in the front office right now. I don’t know if he’s at the stage of leaving but there’s a big uneasiness from not only from the Kyrie side, but the KD side as well…
“His biggest beef is that he feels that the front office didn’t grow to understand Kyrie, whatever that means. I would push back on that when a guy leaves for two weeks at a time … Kyrie earns the lion’s share of the blame. But I think KD believes that ‘hey, you guys didn’t understand this guy. You didn’t try to figure out where he was coming from.’…
“The Nets got rid of Adam Harrington. who’s very close to Kevin. He’s one of Kevin’s guys. And that had a big ripple effect on how Kevin feels about this right now. He’s still in this figure-it-out mode but there is some fire to that smoke that he’s kind of reevaluating where he stands with this.”
Murdoch also confirmed Durant is not recruiting free agents to Brooklyn right now.
Durant does not make rash decisions — fans may not agree with all of them, but his choices are thought out and considered from his perspective. It’s fair to say he genuinely thought playing with his friend Irving, and reconciling everything with James Hardenwould work out very differently than it did — and none of that was on Durant directly. When Durant has been healthy and played, he has been at an MVP level (at age 33), and the team has won. Irving’s choices alone were not the undoing of the Nets’ season but part of a larger storm (how big a part is up for debate).
In Irving’s case, Durant thinks Irving is making personal decisions and, apparently, the Nets didn’t grow to understand those decisions. I would argue that what the Nets understood was the impact of those decisions — both on the team short term and the societal implications (Tsai is a big pro-vaccine guy) — and disagreed with Irving’s choices. The Nets feeling that Irving was not committed to the franchise didn’t come out of left field.
Irving gave the Nets a list of destinations — a sign that things may be beyond reconcilable. All of this understandably has KD stepping back and assessing his situation. If Irving does move on, via trade or free agency, who the Nets get in return and their next steps will be part of that assessment.
But with every new report, it seems the Nets’ grand plan is one step closer to falling apart.