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“You know he's probably trying to get to a contender, it's easier that way” — Shaquille O'Neal on Kevin Durant’s trade request

For Shaquille O'Neal, a true franchise star doesn't run away when their team's situation gets complicated.
Shaquille O'Neal and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant

Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Durant

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal is one of the many former players who believe in the importance of loyalty. Despite playing for several teams throughout his career, O'Neal never demanded a trade when his situation turned rocky. It was only really because he feuded with his former teammates and his hefty contract that cost his past teams to trade him to another team.

But for the most part, O'Neal is all about being a true leader and independent franchise star, which is why he advises Kevin Durant to stay the course in Brooklyn.

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True leaders don't run when things get complicated

According to O'Neal, if Durant wants to be the leader he must be, then it's best if he stays in Brooklyn, weather the storm, and figure it out from there. After all, KD picked the Nets, hoping to make it his franchise. It's also important to point out that Durant is part of why Brooklyn finds itself in this situation in the first place hence why O'Neal believes that KD might be better off facing his problems instead of running from them.

"When you put a house together, you should live in it…You, as a leader, should make it work, but you don't want to make it work, I guess…You know he's probably trying to get to a contender; it's easier that way," O'Neal said in his latest appearance on The Rich Eisen Show.

O'Neal is correct in saying that KD wants the easier route by jumping to a contending team. Remember, Durant reportedly said he would like his next destination to either be the Pheonix Suns or Miami Heat — two teams that led the Western and Eastern Conference, respectively, last season. The 2-time champion was also considered by the Boston Celtics for a potential Jaylen Brown swap.

KD might take Shaq's advice

However, on Tuesday, Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported that Durant would meet Nets owner Joe Tsai this week to discuss his trade request. Brooklyn has said numerous times that they're not satisfied with the packages offered in the past few weeks in exchange for Durant, so they might have to convince their superstar to suit up for them next season instead. After all, the Nets have the final say because they employ Durant for the next four years until he becomes a free agent.

Who knows how Durant and Tsai's meeting will turn out. Maybe Durant takes Shaq's advice to heart and eventually decides to man up and be the leader of his franchise by, in O'Neal's words, "making it work." Because based on the situation around him, it's not the worst choice for Durant to stay in Brooklyn with the roster they have now. 

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