One of the trigger words that has become important in the NBA dictionary as of late is the word legacy. Just ask Brooklyn Nets star, Kevin Durant. When Durant parted ways with the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016, many people questioned what effect it would have on his legacy to join the team that eliminated him from the playoffs weeks prior.
Even when he decided to part ways with Golden State in 2016 to join the Brooklyn Nets, people thought he was doing it to prove that he could lead a team to a title on his own, which would have added to his legacy. But the Nets star says the meaning of his legacy should be much deeper than that.
“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. I can play with anybody, anywhere, at any time, and you know I’m going to bring it every day. That should be my legacy,” Durant said to Chris B. Haynes via Bleacher Report.
“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.”
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Durant ‘Enjoying Every Moment’ With Nets
There was a mixed bag of emotions about Durant’s decision to leave Golden State. Some applauded him for his willingness to take on a new challenge after leading them to back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019. Others felt he was doing himself a disservice by leaving, as the Warriors had all the makings of the next great dynasty.
To this point, Durant has not enjoyed much success during his Brooklyn tenure. He has just one playoff series win with the Nets. But despite the lack of success with the team, Durant says he is enjoying his time with the Nets. Especially because he was unsure if he’d ever get the chance to play basketball again just a few years ago.
“I’m really having a good time. I wish y’all could hear me talk during the game. 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 with the pandemic, I didn’t know if we were going to play again. I didn’t know if I was going to play again,” Durant continued.
“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.”
Durant Sounds off on Offseason Trade Request
But Durant has not been happy during the entirety of his Nets tenure. The All-NBA forward requested a trade from the franchise last summer. And if not for the gargantuan asking price of the Nets front office, the star may have gotten his wish.
There was a lot of speculation on why KD requested a trade. Was it his teammates, his coaches, the front office? But Durant says it was about, what it has always been about for him, basketball.
“It wasn’t difficult at all to request a trade because it was about ball. I went to them and was like, ‘Yo, I don’t like how we are preparing. I don’t like shootarounds. I like practices. I need more. I want to work on more s–t. Hold me accountable. Get on my ass in film if that’s going to help you get on everybody else’s head. I want to do more closeouts. I want to work on more shell drills at practice,” Durant added.
“This was the type of s–t I was coming at them with. It wasn’t like, ‘Yo, y’all need to make sure everybody around me can make my life easier.’ Hell nah, I want to make everybody else’s life easier. Ask Steve Nash, you can go call him right now. I would say, ‘Yo, I need more closeout drills. We need to practice more.’ That’s what I was on.”
It will be interesting to see if Durant and the Nets can turn their season around.