After an eventful summer, former Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant’s situation with the Brooklyn Nets looks to have stabilized, at least for the time being. Last month, Nets GM Sean Marks issued a statement saying that the two sides would be running it back for the 2022-23 campaign.
Still, after KD requested a trade on Day 1 of free agency, then later served up a “them or me” ultimatum to owner Joe Tsai in reference to Marks and head coach Steve Nash, one would be hard-pressed to say the 12-time All-Star is long for Brooklyn.
Given the way things have played out since he made the decision to leave the Bay Area, one can’t help but wonder whether Durant regrets his Warriors exit after winning two titles alongside Steph Curry and Co. During a recent episode of First Take, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith gave his take on KD’s mindset in demonstrative fashion.
“Hell yes!” Smith said of Durant having regrets. “I think that that’s obvious. There’s no way around that.”
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
While Smith confessed that he wasn’t a fan of Durant’s decision to flee OKC for the Dubs back in 2016, he gave the baller his props for what he was able to accomplish during his three-year run with the club.
In turn, though, the hoops pundit considered it a head-scratcher on par with that first big move when KD flew the coop to join Kyrie Irving on the East Coast.
“You leave after all that, and where you go matters and who you go to play with matters,” Smith said. “Steph Curry is a preeminent superstar in this game and the greatest shooter we have ever seen, and now he won. Last year, I said ‘If the Golden State Warriors win, then people are gonna be talking more about KD leaving Steph to join Kyrie than they would be talking about his two titles.’
“Everybody was in an uproar on that side of the camp, so what happened? After the season ended and Steph Curry won the championship and the NBA Finals MVP, what are they talking about? ‘You left Steph Curry, what the hell were you thinking?’”
As Smith sees it, Durant has but one option in getting the proverbial monkey off his back.
“The only way for you to overcome that narrative is for you to show up in Brooklyn this year.”
Steph Was Receptive to a Reunion With KD, But…
During his wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone‘s Matt Sullivan, Steph spoke out on the idea of a KD reunion, noting that the concept had absolutely been discussed internally this summer. And while he confessed that the idea of rekindling that old flame held some appeal, reality quickly set back in.
“If you said, ‘Oh, KD’s coming back, and we’re gonna play with him,’ I had so much fun playing with him those three years, I’d be like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ Then you have to think: What does that actually mean?” Steph said.
“If anybody’s saying that you wouldn’t entertain that conversation — no disrespect to anybody on our team — you don’t know how things work. But you also understand, like, if we run this thing back, I’ve got complete confidence in my team that we can win it again, as constructed.”