The 2022 NBA playoffs didn't go very well for Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. Despite being the number seven seed in the Eastern Conference, the Nets were widely regarded as one of the most dangerous teams in the league, thanks to Durant and Kyrie Irving. There was also a chance that Ben Simmons would return for the postseason, making the Nets' prospects look brighter than most seven seeds' playoff prospects would look.
The Nets would win their only Play-In Tournament contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers but were quickly swept out of the postseason by the Boston Celtics in the first round. For all the hope that surrounded the team heading into the playoffs, the Celtics quickly sent them packing for vacation.
Mike James says Durant knew he was going to lose in the playoffs
What's surprising in the aftermath of such a dominant sweep is that there were folks convinced that the Nets would be the ones doing the sweeping. But, according to former Nets guard Mike James, Durant wasn't among the crowd who thought the Nets would win in the postseason.
James hopped on a recent episode of the Players Choice podcast and discussed how he invited Durant to attend one of his playoff games with AS Monaco Basket of the French LNB Pro A basketball league. Durant initially turned him down, citing his playoff series with the Nets, but James said he quickly switched his tenor once the Nets reached the playoffs.
Mike James' comments provide a bit of insight on Durant's feelings towards the Nets
James' comments certainly caught the attention of many basketball fans, as it sounded like he was saying that Durant had given up on his postseason hopes with the Nets. And while it's worth noting that the playoffs for James started midway through Durant's series against the Celtics, it still isn't a great look for Durant to admit that he was expecting to lose, regardless of how bad things looked for the Nets at the time.
This also shows that Durant's feelings towards the Nets may not have begun to sprout as recently as the offseason. Instead, Durant could have started planning his exit from Brooklyn well before the offseason. It sounds like he was actively thinking about losing the playoffs in the middle of a series, so it may not be out of the picture.
James's story provides some context on Durant's feelings towards the Nets during the end of the 2021-22 season. Durant may have been planning his departure from Brooklyn with Irving midway through the previous campaign, and if that's the case, it may make it less likely that he would rescind his trade request out of Brooklyn. This isn't a great look for Durant, but it doesn't look like his issues with the Nets are coming to a conclusion anytime soon.