The saying goes that nothing good lasts forever and that phrase may be the most relevant when it comes to sports. For as much hype and fanfare that comes with the formation of super teams in free agency, the downfall of these empires is often just as dramatic in the end.
Take the Golden State Warriors for example. When two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant joined the team that had won 73 games just a season prior it was all peaches and cream in route to back-to-back NBA titles. But when it rains it pours, after Durant went down with an Achilles injury in the 2019 NBA Finals, Warriors star Klay Thompson tore his ACL in the very next game. To make matters worse shortly into the next season, Warriors star Stephen Curry broke his hand which held him out the majority of the year.
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Kevin Durant Sounds off on the Future of the Nets ‘Big 3′
Durant once again finds himself in a situation where he is surrounded by superstar talent. This time around his supporting cast is Kyrie Irving and James Harden who are both eager to capture a title. Unlike Durant’s first year with the Warriors, he was unable to capture a title in his first year with the Nets.
While it can be argued that all three stars are still in the thick of their primes, championship windows are short-lived, and the Nets need to maximize on their opportunity. With contract extensions on the horizon for all three of the Nets superstars, Durant is counting on he and his co-stars to make the right decision when the time comes.
“[You] like being in that environment, first of all. You enjoy playing the game, that’s the most important thing. I think we all three enjoy playing with each other,” Durant said per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “But that’s a personal thing, and guys are different. I’m sure when the time is right, I’m sure we’ll all make the right decision for ourselves.”
Injuries prevented the Nets’ stars from seeing much playing time together during the 2020-21 season. Both Harden and Durant missed over a month of playing time due to hamstring injuries. However, for the few games that the Nets stars did play together, it was clear that their chemistry came naturally. That was evident in their first-round playoff matchup against the Boston Celtics who they eliminated in 5 games.
“Just being in a great environment and being around teammates that enjoy the game,” Durant continued. “Keep growing individually. That’s the most important thing: how we’re growing individually. Definitely how we come together as a team. I enjoy seeing my teammates get better; I enjoy getting better and have an environment that encourages that every single day.”
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Sean Marks Says He Is Committed to Nets ‘Big 3′
While Nets general manager Sean Marks has yet to put a date on it, he has made it crystal clear that he intends to extend every member of the Nets ‘Big 3’ at some point, which in turn will attract other key players to help Brooklyn round out their roster.
“It’s probably too early to begin discussing what their futures are, [but] obviously we’re committed to them. They play a big role in how we’re going to continue to build this, how we’re going to drive our culture and the identity of our team,” Marks said per the New York Post.
“I don’t see any shortage of people wanting to play with them, people wanting to play alongside them or them wanting to be a part of something here. Now it’s going to be up to us to continue to make Brooklyn an environment where not only do they want to re-sign, but our free agents want to return to us and future people think ‘Hey, there’s a heck of an opportunity for me there in Brooklyn to play alongside and along with those high-caliber players.’”
With many of the big-name stars already off of the free agency board, it will be interesting to see how the Nets round out their roster in preparation for the 2021-22 NBA season.