Kevin Durant played the obvious next move. In order to increase pressure on the Nets, he had a meeting with team owner Joseph Tsai and made an ultimatum - fire Sean Marks and Steve Nash. It didn’t take long for KD to get a clear message from Tsai.
The hypocrisy of superstar players
Let’s recap KD’s tenure with the Brooklyn Nets. He arrived and got a max contract despite being injured. Then Durant and Irving made the Nets sign their buddy DeAndre Jordan, and consequently get rid of Jarret Allen. They got Kenny Atkinson fired, hand-picked Steve Nash, and when James Harden stabbed the Rockets in the back, they pushed the Nets to go all in on Harden.
For KD to now complain that Marks and Nash were the problem, when the former did everything Durant and The Artist asked, and the latter was hand-picked by them is the ultimate hypocrisy. The thing is, this wasn’t that difficult to predict. A bit over a month ago, Bill Simmons and Ryen Rusillo described this scenario, and after Simmons called it play-by-play, Russillo pointed out the obvious.
” What the f**k are we even talking about?? I don’t agree [Marks should be the fall guy], and by the way, the next version of Durant and Kyrie that want to team up and go to another team, they’re all gonna say yes. Except for maybe Jo Tsai.” Russillo concluded.
The thing is, there will hardly be another version of Durant and Irving. Not in terms of basketball talent, but in terms of reliability. That’s what we’re talking about here. Of course, teams will blow everything up to get two top-10, top-15 guys. But we are approaching a tipping point of bad outcomes that will lead to front offices and owners starting to value reliability a lot more.
Kyrie has done more than enough to let us know he’s detached from reality. But when KD, after everything Irving did and said, blamed the Nets for not doing more to understand and support Irving, he went right up there with Kai.
That’s why teams aren’t willing to offer everything the Nets are asking for Durant. It’s not his age or injury history. Teams are finally understanding that if an all-in move is going to work, you need a Tim Duncan, a Steph Curry, a Giannis Antetokounmpo - a superstar whose first instinct is to hold himself responsible before pointing the finger at someone else.
Turns out the recipe to building a good organization has been out there for decades, all you had to do is listen to Pop. The first criteria in scouting is searching for players who are “over themselves.”
While things look grim in Brooklyn right now, if Joseph Tsai learned this crucial lesson, I’m not worried about the Nets.