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LeBron James started player empowerment. Now Kevin Durant has ruined it.

Teams are now more careful in signing superstars after Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving all forced their teams to trade them after signing massive deals. They all ruined the player empowerment started by LeBron James.
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

When LeBron James announced he would take his talents to South Beach, it started a trend in the NBA. It sent a message to the players that controlling their future was possible. Unfortunately, Kevin Durant and some of the league’s biggest superstars have abused and ruined that privilege.

No takers for Kevin Durant

When Kevin Durant asked for a trade, the Brooklyn Nets front office expected a bidding war for their prized superstars. The calls did come, but teams are not interested in improving their offers. They know the Nets don’t have the upper hand in the situation. And given the history of KD forcing his way out when things are no longer convenient, other owners balk at the demands of the Brooklyn front office.

Brooklyn raised the stakes for Durant after Rudy Gobert left the Utah Jazz. The Minnesota Timberwolves gave away five future first-round picks for the defensive center. It raised eyebrows in the league; if it took that many assets in exchange for Gobert, how many assets do you need to get a superstar like KD?

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According to Brian Windhorst, the move by the Nets flopped. Teams are not interested in outbidding each other for the Slim Reaper. For them, it isn't worth giving up that many assets and talents to get Kevin, who at 33 years old still has a lot of gas in his tank but has been slowed down by injuries in recent years. Also worth noting is that KD has not won anything after his stint with the Golden State Warriors despite playing with a loaded roster in Brooklyn.

Things didn’t go according to the Nets’ plans, revealing a bitter truth in the situation: KD ruined what LeBron James started in player empowerment.

KD ruined what LeBron started

The King was bashed when he announced his decision to play for the Miami Heat, but it paved the way for players to have leverage and gain control of where they could play next. However, Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Ben Simmons abused that privilege. Now, teams are more careful in signing superstars because of how they behave after securing massive deals.

KD and Kyrie still have a chance to win a championship in Brooklyn. They must create chemistry with Simmons, stay healthy, and prove to anyone they could win a title. Unfortunately, they haven’t won anything despite the Nets giving in to their demands. And now, they are seeking to play together elsewhere. Of course, the Nets will have no choice but to get the best offer other teams could give, which is not necessarily fair.

The NBA should realize that the owners need to be protected too. When players are given much power, they tend to abuse it. Player empowerment is a good movement started by LeBron James, but Kevin Durant has ruined it. In the end, it’s a lose-lose situation for the league, team owners, players, and the fans. 

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