Like Warriors, Nets learn about KD’s restless soul

Like Warriors, Nets learn about KD’s restless soul originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

When Kevin Durant left the Warriors in July 2019, the team’s CEO was stunned. Joe Lacob couldn’t understand why Durant would leave the team he played a huge part in reaching three consecutive NBA finals.

Deeply disappointed, Lacob released a statement praising Durant’s contributions on and off the field and vowing that as long as he is co-chair, no player will wear number 35.

Still, on several occasions, including over lunch for the 2019-20 season, Lacob expressed his surprise, saying he really didn’t understand and doubted he would ever do that.

The reason was simple then, and three years later it is simple, with multiple reports Thursday that KD asks for a trade of the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant is endlessly curious. He is an explorer. A tinkerer. He is constantly researching and studying, looking for ways to expand his game on the field and his life off it. He may never find everything he’s looking for, but he’s committed to the search.

“Everything I’ve done revolves around evolution and development,” Durant told reporters last September after a Nets training camp.

So we should never be surprised if Durant looks for something else. He chose Brooklyn largely because it was an opportunity to play with two close friends, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan. He urged the Nets to sign Jordan and then took less than the maximum to ease the financial burden. Although Jordan was clearly past his prime, he was given a four-year contract worth $40 million.

That’s what Durant and Kyrie wanted in the summer of 2019. It’s not what Durant wants in the summer of 2022.

Jordan was a bust; he has bounced about three other teams since then. Kyrie has been a solo soap opera, a rambunctious, scrambling, zigzagging drama story that missed more games than he’s played in Brooklyn, but on Tuesday opted for the final year of his $36.5 million contract.

Two days later — and a year after signing a $194 million four-year extension — Durant wants out. Topping his list of possible destinations is the Phoenix Suns, according to Yahoo Sports. It is a competing team and he has yet to fully explore the region.

Durant’s NBA legacy is safe, but confirmation never hurts.

During his time with the Warriors, Durant has made it clear on several occasions that he is a very willing traveler, pointing out that he left his hometown of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, in greater Washington DC to attend college halfway across the country. Texas. It didn’t matter that the University of North Carolina, 280 miles away, had a scholarship with his name on it.

After signing up for the 2007 NBA Draft, Durant was selected second overall by the Seattle SuperSonics. He went to the Pacific Northwest and enjoyed his one season there. In an effort to show their appreciation for former COO Rick Welts and Durant, who both began their NBA journey in Seattle, the Warriors hosted a 2018 game there for the season.

Durant felt the love, and he radiated happiness.

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When the Sonics left Seattle and headed for Oklahoma City, he got the chance to explore another part of the country. He planted roots, invested in the community, served as the patron saint of Positive Tomorrows, a school for the homeless, and also opened a restaurant, “KD’s,” which specializes in Southern cuisine.

Coming to the Warriors in July 2016 was Durant’s first voluntary move since entering college ten years earlier. He embraced the Bay Area, rode the streets of Oakland, rode BART with commuters, and engaged in conversation with fans.

Durant and the Warriors also faced strong opposition from NBA fans, some out of jealousy. There was a strong reaction in OKC. He internalized it all. The Warriors won two championships in his first two seasons, taking MVP in both Finals. He was never a more complete player than during his time in the Bay Area.

KD’s third and final season, when the spell faded and restlessness set in, ended catastrophically. He suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Game 5 in Toronto, while Klay Thompson tore an ACL in Game 6 in Oakland.

With that, the book about that era was effectively closed, even though Lacob and many others did not understand it.

All this should be clarified with this latest news. The journey of Kevin Durant is not for us to understand. It’s up to him to experience.

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