Kevin Durant: “No Consistency, No Continuity” In Brooklyn

Kevin Durant asked the Nets for a trade in the summer of 2022 because he believed there was too much chaos to ever compete for a title, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Durant was looking for an opportunity to win more rings when he left the Warriors as a free agent in 2019, and he thought he found it when he teamed up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. However, the following three-and-a-half years were marked more by injuries, coaching changes and off-court news rather than significant wins.

“In Brooklyn? Yeah, it just wasn’t no consistency, no continuity on who we were as a team,” Durant said. “And when you want to win a championship, you’ve got to build an identity from Day 1, and it was just a lot of circumstances that were out of the players’ control that got in the way of us building our continuity.  That’s just the business of basketball. That’s just the NBA in general. But we all got better as individual players, and we learned a lot from that experience — everybody from executives to players — and we can go about our NBA experience with more knowledge now.” 

Durant sat out his first season with the Nets as a result of a ruptured Achilles he suffered in the 2019 playoffs, and the rest of his time there was marked by organizational instability. Players grew unhappy with head coach Kenny Atkinson, who was replaced by Steve Nash. Durant eventually called for Nash to be fired, and another coaching change came last November when the front office parted with Nash and gave the job to Jacque Vaughn.

Roster moves were frequent as well, with the highlight being the acquisition of James Harden from Houston in a 2021 blockbuster trade. However, Durant, Irving and Harden only played 16 games together before the trio was broken up when Harden was shipped to Philadelphia in February of 2022. His replacement, Ben Simmons, only saw 441 minutes in 24 games with Durant and Irving before they were both traded nine months ago.

“It’s always about next-man-up mentality in this league,” Durant said, recalling the adversity in Brooklyn. “Guys get hurt, guys not in the lineup. You get paid to be a pro for a reason. Guys have got to step up and just play the games. … You see the character of a team when you’re mixing lineups and got to fight through adversity like that.” 

Durant’s first trade request wasn’t heeded right away, and he played most of last season with the Nets. Management didn’t relent until the Suns agreed to include Miles Bridges in their offer shortly before the deadline.

Although he had to wait, Durant is happy to be in Phoenix where he’s part of a new Big Three with Devin Booker and Bradley Beal — although much like in Brooklyn, injuries have prevented them all from playing together. He said he never gave any thought to holding out at the start of last season to try to force Brooklyn into making a deal.

“I did try [to move earlier], they just refused to get rid of me,” Durant said. “I tried, but time ran out. I wasn’t going to miss no games because of this whole thing. So once the season rolled around, I was just like, whatever happens, it happens, and I just get ready for the season. So it worked out perfect timing, the way it’s supposed to.”

View Comments (9)