The “Slim Reaper” nickname might apply off the court, too.
Kevin Durant is trying to become both a coach- and GM-killer.
The Nets superstar issued an ultimatum to Joe Tsai over the weekend that the team owner needs to choose between Durant and the pairing of head coach Steve Nash and GM Sean Marks, The Athletic reported Monday.
Durant, who requested a trade in June and has not been moved, had a face-to-face meeting with Tsai in London in which he did not rescind his demand. According to the report, the Nets have “direct knowledge” concerning why the 12-time All-Star has asked out a year after he signed a four-year, $198 million extension.
The Nets have not found a trade offer that could satisfy losing the all-time great, and according to the report, Tsai and the Nets have made it known they will take “every last asset from a team that trades for Durant.” In stating the lofty hope for the trade return, perhaps the Nets think Durant would be less motivated to leave.
The Nets are coming off a chaotic and wildly disappointing season in which the unvaccinated Kyrie Irving was banished until December and then primarily could only play in road games; James Harden, dealing with a heavier burden without Irving, requested a trade and was flipped for Ben Simmons, who never actually stepped foot on the court; and Brooklyn eventually was swept out of the first round by the Celtics.
In the aftermath, Marks said the team culture “isn’t what it quite was” and said it was his and Nash’s “job to pick that up.”
Durant reportedly does not want the GM and coach combination to be able to follow through.
After the Game 4 loss to Boston, Durant expressed his appreciation for Nash and said he was the right coach to lead the Nets into the future.
“Steve’s been dealt a crazy hand the last two years,” Durant said. “He’s had to deal with so much stuff as a head coach, a first-time coach. Trades, injuries, COVID and just a lot of stuff he had to deal with.
“I’m proud of how he’s focused and his passion for us. We all continue to keep developing over the summer and see what happens.”