Barring a sudden change of heart, it appears Kevin Durant is headed elsewhere, finishing his Brooklyn career with just one series victory. Before meeting with owner Joe Tsai to request a trade, the All-Star forward hadn’t spoken to anyone in the Nets’ front office since Brooklyn was eliminated by Boston in the first round of this year’s playoffs. Aside from his usual Twitter trolling and the occasional podcast appearance, Durant has gone radio silent, last interacting with the media on April 25th. This is what he said that night, minutes after what would be, in all likelihood, his final game as a Brooklyn Net.
Who knows if Durant’s hero complex was triggered by Robert Pattinson’s joyless interpretation of the caped crusader, sulking moodily through the dystopian streets of Gotham. Repeated viewings of Pattinson grunting through bleak monologues about vengeance and betrayal to the soundtrack of Nirvana’s “Something in the Way” is enough to make anyone question their sanity. Not that Durant was a bundle of joy before he discovered Batman. In fact, you could argue angst is his defining trait, displaying an unusual bitterness for a player who’s accomplished so much in his career.
Reflecting on the Durant/Irving Era in Brooklyn, Tim Legler of ESPN called the Nets’ experiment, taking the player empowerment movement to its logical extreme, “one of the most epic failures in league history.” Harsh as that may sound, he’s not wrong with Durant, Irving and James Harden (while it lasted) showing little in the way of chemistry, proving as dysfunctional as any superstar trio in recent memory. Assuming their reign is over (not that it ever began), the Nets will be looked at as a cautionary tale, a toxic mess of egos and unmet expectations.