NBA: Nash plays down Durant trade request as Nets eye reboot

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 27 2022 10:46 AM

Kevin Durant watches a replay during the first half of Game 4 of the first-round NBA playoff series between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn borough of New York, New York, USA, 25 April 2022. File photo. Justin Lane, EPA-EFE
Kevin Durant watches a replay during the first half of Game 4 of the first-round NBA playoff series between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn borough of New York, New York, USA, 25 April 2022. File photo. Justin Lane, EPA-EFE

NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash played down Kevin Durant's trade request on Monday, insisting the superstar was "on the same page" as the team prepares for the new season.

Durant shocked basketball in June after requesting a trade, less than a year after he signed a four-year $198 million contract extension to remain in Brooklyn.

Durant is reported to have given Nets owner Joe Tsai an ultimatum, to either grant his request for a trade or fire Nash and Nets manager Sean Marks.

The standoff appeared to have been resolved last month when the Nets said in a statement that Durant would remain with the club following clear the air talks.

Speaking at the Nets media day on Monday, Nash said Durant's trade request was part-and-parcel of life in the NBA.

"Families go through things like this," Nash told reporters. "You go through adversity, you go through disagreements. 

"This is not new to the NBA. It has happened dozens of times; I'm sure every organization has faced that. So, you know, it's a part of the process. It's a part of working in this business. It's super competitive. 

"We're all prideful. We all have expectations, and when we get dinged up like we did last year, you know, everyone's disappointed. We cleared the air and we spoke and we got on the same page."

Brooklyn had hoped to challenge for an NBA Championship last season, building their roster around the talents of Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

However the Nets big three failed to deliver, and Harden was traded away to the Philadelphia 76ers in February.

The Nets were later swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

Durant said Monday he had sought a move after becoming concerned that the team would not be capable of challenging for championships.

"As last season went on, you see what happened with our season, guys in and out of the lineup, injuries, just a lot of uncertainty, which built some doubt in my mind about the next four years in my career," Durant said. 

"I'm getting older and I want to be in a place that’s stable and trying to build a championship culture. So I had some doubts about that. I voiced them to (Nets owner) Joe (Tsai), and we moved forward from there."

Durant said he had been encourgaged by Marks' roster moves during the close season.

"I liked what we did, what Sean put together this summer with the team," Durant said, adding that talks with team ownership and management had put his mind at rest.

"We came to a mutual agreement that we should keep moving forward," he said.

© Agence France-Presse