Nets' national broadcasts cut in half in apparent hedge against Durant trade

By , Audacy Sports

The Brooklyn Nets were a fixture on the NBA's national broadcasts last season, but this year, not so much.

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The Nets, who were featured on 26 such broadcasts last season, have seen that number cut in half, to 13.

The development comes after a bitterly disappointing and drama-filled season for the Nets in which they finished 44-38 and had to fight to secure the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They were bounced in the first round of the postseason by the Boston Celtics.

Brooklyn was without point guard Kyrie Irving for much of the campaign, who sat due to his vaccination status. As well, James Harden was dealt to the 76ers, and his replacement, Ben Simmons, never took the floor due to mental health issues and a back injury that later required surgery.

The tumult was capped by the bombshell offseason trade request from 12-time All-Star Kevin Durant, who reportedly told owner Joe Tsai that he had lost confidence in general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash to lead the team in the right direction.

The league's schedule-makers and broadcast partners seem to be hedging against the possibility of Durant being gone from the Nets by the time the regular season tips off on Oct. 18. Even if Irving and Simmons are still in the fold, the Nets would presumably be less of a draw without one of the best players of his generation on the team.

Instead the Nets will be featured on ABC just once, after they were showcased on the network five teams a season ago, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. They will also be absent from the Christmas Day slate for the first time since 2019. Instead, Brooklyn will appear on ESPN seven times, with five games slated for TNT. They were also scheduled for 10 games on NBA-owned network NBA TV.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty