As one of the biggest stars in the NBA today, Kevin Durant holds a lot of power for his position as a player. This summer, he decided to test his power after making a trade demand to Nets owner Joe Tsai.
With four years left on his deal, it was always an ambitious route to take, and he may end up regretting he took it in the first place. As one former coach told Heavy's Steve Bulpett, KD hurt nothing but his own value and reputation with his actions this summer.
One former coach told Heavy Sports that Durant essentially sabotaged himself.
"The moment a player comes out and mouths those famous words: ‘Hey, man, get me the [expletive] up out of here,’ he just discounted himself,” he said. “He just hurt not only his prospect for a trade happening quickly, but he has just put his franchise in a position of losing leverage, because people think, ‘Well, I get a fire sale price, because that guy has already indicated he wants out of there.’"
"And then Kevin doubled down on the same stupidity by giving an ultimatum designed to force their hand. He don’t really feel all that badly about Sean Marks and Steve Nash. He probably really likes them. They pretty much let him have free rein of the franchise. He doesn’t really have a problem with them. But he knew that he was looking for another leverage point to give them greater urgency to trade him even at a discounted price. So he came out with this ultimatum, and Joe Tsai looked at him and said, ‘Nah, bruh. Sorry. Not going to happen.'”
In the battle between Durant and the Nets, Durant lost bitterly. Even as the trade rumors were in full swing, no teams ever really came close to securing a deal, and it seems that the Nets never really had any intention of trading Durant in the first place.
The result has left Durant stuck in Brooklyn and the Nets with a roster that can rival the best of the best. If all goes well, it could do wonders to repair Durant's reputation as a quitter.
If not, it will easily become a defining moment of his career -- in the worst way possible.