Photo: ESPN

The Kevin Durant saga ended with the two-time NBA champion staying with the Nets as he enters the first year of his four-year contract that he signed with the team last summer.

This was not the first time that a superstar was trying to force a team to trade him. James Harden did that last year to Brooklyn ahead of trade deadline. Reportedly, Kyrie Irving attempted to force his way out of the Nets earlier this offseason before committing to stay for the final year of his contract.

These kind of moves have been viewed as empowerment of the league’s superstars to the point where they can pressure their teams to trade them regardless of what contracts they have.

Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith thinks that this era is coming to an end. According to him, what happened in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will taken into account when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will be negotiated.

“Let’s put everything in this proper perspective, Windy, and say things changed because it had to,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take. “If you’re Joe Tsai, you’ve given the Brooklyn Nets meaning Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving everything they wanted.

“And I’m not gonna blame Kevin Durant the player because Kevin Durant the player has done all he could he’s just shown up and he has balled out and he has proven to be as far as I’m concerned the greatest player in the game today or definitely without question one of the greatest player in the game today if not one of the greatest in the history of the game. He’s that spectacular.

“So, we understand that and he never misses games unless he’s injured. Kevin Durant, you got to force him to miss games, okay? So, as a player he did nothing wrong. Where he’s accountable is everything else they did was because of him.

“Their level of tolerance was Kyrie was because of him, the $40 million they gave to DeAndre Jordan because of him, Steve Nash being the coach because of him, he and Sean Marks wanted him that was his guy, but that was Kevin Durant’s guy too. That’s what you wanted. You had Mark Jackson out there, you had Ty Lue, you had numerous others and you signed off on Steve Nash…

“Wait until CBA negotiations come,” Smith continued. “You gonna have rules named after these guys. There’s gonna be a Kyrie rule, there’s gonna be a James Harden rule, there’s gonna be a Ben Simmons rule. You can book it. They ain’t playing.

“You can sit up there and be the biggest headache in the world owners and executive and the NBA will get over it if you show up and play. You show up and play and you ball, and the results follow you, they’ll tolerate a lot.

“The one thing you can’t tolerate… How can you be receptive to paying dudes who don’t want to play? … You don’t have to collude with other owners to rally together in terms of your mindset and say ‘enough of this.’ …

“I have never seen owners this gung-ho. They’re tired of it. What has happened in Brooklyn alone is enough to have set NBA players back decades. That’s t he kind of the damage that this kind of nonsense that was going on has done.”