Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith weighed in on Kevin Durant’s trade request that shook the NBA a couple of months ago.
According to him, the request is unjustified and the Nets should not trade him this year. KD further escalated the tension between himself and the team owner Joe Tsai by issuing an ultimatum to him.
Reportedly, the two-time NBA champion told Tsai to pick between him and the head coach Steve Nash as well as general manager Sean Marks.
“Hell no [Durant’s trade demands are not justified],” Smith started his rant on ESPN’s First Take. “And I love me some KD. I know people get on him about being sensitive and him clapping back to the media. Hell, he’s clapped back at me on several occasions publicly and privately.
“I love the brother. I think he’s the best player in the world when healthy. These trade demands are not even close to being justified. Hell with that. If it’s me I’m Joe Tsai for the Brooklyn Nets, you ain’t going no damn place Kevin… There is no way in hell I’m letting Kevin Durant leave this year.
“Let me break this down for y’all. Kevin Durant arrives to the Brooklyn Nets in 2019. He signs for 4 years $164 million. He had just torn his Achilles, they paid him $35-plus million a year just to come knowing he wasn’t gonna play a single game. He’s Kevin Durant, he deserves it. I would have done the same thing without hesitation…
“The second season you come back through no fault of your own, Kyrie gets hurt, James Harden gets hurt, you almost beat Milwaukee, can’t get it done, monster performance.
“This year you got bounced out in the first round. You got swept and you were the only team in the entire postseason who got swept. That’s three years of basketball and all I got to show for is one playoff series victory.”
Smith then proceeded to list all the moves that the Nets made to appease Durant, namely, getting Kyrie Irving, James Harden, DeAndre Jordan, even head coach Steve Nash.
According to Smith, the Nets owner has not received return on his investment in KD and because of that he should keep the player in Brooklyn and not trade him.