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After speculation surrounding his future at the Brooklyn Nets, All Star player Kevin Durant and the New York franchise have agreed to “move forward” in their ambition of winning the NBA Championship.
In the wake of the 2021-22 season, Durant had put in a trade request which made major headlines in the NBA, but in late August the Nets revealed that the team’s leadership and the 33-year-old forward had a ‘clear the air’ meeting.
Nets general manager Sean Marks, coach Steve Nash and owners Joe and Clara Wu Tsai met with Durant and business partner Rick Kleiman – and the result is a renewed focus on taking the Nets to the top of the NBA for the first time in history.
“We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn,” said Marks.
With Durant, the Nets can still be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. He averaged a franchise-record 29.9 points last season, and the Nets were bidding for the top spot in the Eastern Conference before he suffered a knee injury that sidelined him for 21 games.
Add in Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons, who is expected to return after not playing for the Nets last season following his trade from Philadelphia, and the Nets will have a top trio.
Durant’s request for a trade came in for major criticism, including from NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.
The Hall of Fame center sounded off on Durant wanting out of a long-term project he had signed up for: “When you put a house together, you should live in it …” O’Neal explained.
“You, as a leader, should make it work, but you don’t want to make it work; I guess you go buy another house. You know, he’s probably trying to get to a contender. It’s easier that way.”
Now Durant, who has four years remaining on his contract in Brooklyn, seems to have committed to the task of turning the Nets into a Championship winning team. Only time will tell if his ambition will be fulfilled.