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Kevin Durant addresses happiness with Nets, trade request over summer

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Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Los Angeles.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Kevin Durant is pushing back on the ongoing perceptions that he isn’t happy these days in Brooklyn with the Nets. The team is coming off a rough loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night a story broke Wednesday morning suggesting that the Nets were growing frustrated with Ben Simmons. 

Thus, another day in Nets World. 

However, for Durant that hasn’t taken away his enjoyment of the game and he pushed back against those who have continued to take shots at him in an interview with Bleacher Report. The continuing drama in Brooklyn has given legs to the perception that Durant has been unhappy with the Nets and will eventually want back out. 

“It’s been fun grinding with these dudes. It’s been fun grinding with Jacque,” Durant said. “It’s been fun trying to leverage myself to help everybody else get better. I’m learning the game more and seeing all types of crazy defenses every night. I never know how a team is going to guard me. This is all helping me mentally as a player to see things a little slower, playing a little slower.”

Durant had requested a trade over the summer after the Nets had been swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics. At one point, Durant had issued an ultimatum that either the club traded him ore they fire Sean Marks and Steve Nash. 

Ultimately, the issue was seemingly resolved and Durant rescinded his trade request. In the first in-depth answer about why he had wanted a trade, Durant said that it was the fact that he didn’t like the way the team had been preparing and that “it wasn’t difficult at all to request a trade because it was about ball.” 

Durant noted that he wasn’t seeing the preparation the team needed to have and wanted to see that changed. Now that Jacque Vaughn has been put into place as the team’s new head coach, Durant said that he sees a difference. 

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Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) looks at the clock during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C.AP Photo/Rusty Jones

“I wasn’t feeling that, and nobody was on that same vibe with me. Jacque Vaughn is,” he explained. “I had some complaints in the summer, and my complaints were not about just me; it was about how we are moving as a unit. I want us to be respected out here in the basketball world. I don’t want players to look at us and say, ‘Oh man, these [expletive] are full of s–t. That’s not the type of team I want to be on.’ So when we’re all playing like s–t, you know the one person they’re going to look at. That’s why I requested a trade.”

As far as his happiness goes, Durant feels that the public is just seeing the whole picture. 

“I’m really having a good time. I wish y’all could hear me talk during the game,” Durant said. “If I got mic’d up more, people would stop asking me if I’m happy or not. I’m enjoying every moment I get to step on this f–king court, and part of it is because I tore my Achilles. And the pandemic, I didn’t know if we were going to play again. I didn’t know if I was going to play again.

“I was just like, ‘This can’t be it for me.’ I have to really enjoy every single moment I’m out here. That’s part of being a pro. I have to be coachable, I have to knock down shots, I have to be aggressive, and I have to talk to my teammates the right way. That’s the journey and the battle.

“All that extra s–t like, ‘You got to win before you retire and make sure your legacy is straight,’ that’s bulls–t to me. My legacy is predicated on what Cam Thomas is learning from me and what he’ll take away to help him by the time he’s in his 10th year. That’s my legacy. What I did with Andre Roberson, the confidence I helped him build when he was in the league. That’s my legacy. Being able to play with Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry and Kyrie and still be me. Yeah, that’s my legacy. That’s who I am. That’s what I bring to the game.”

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