Nets and Kevin Durant drama contrasts with Warriors maturity

Nets and Kevin Durant drama contrasts with Warriors maturity

For all of their youthful promise, the Golden State Warriors cultivate and insist upon adult behavior. Out on the Chase Center court, the staples of sporting maturity — loyalty, brotherhood, sacrifice — come vividly to life.

How it must amuse them to watch a kindergarten class take over in Brooklyn.

Kevin Durant figured he had a path to personal satisfaction when he hooked up with the Nets. He had no idea — and really should have known better — that Kyrie Irving and James Harden represent the comically dreadful flip side of getting to play with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. And what an awful mess they teamed up to create.

Let’s drop in on the class, assuming we can get the kindergartners to stop throwing things around the room:

• Harden lasted all of 13 months with the Nets’ so-called Big Three. Already known for quitting on the Houston Rockets, he orchestrated his way out of Brooklyn and landed in Philadelphia.

• He had a pretty good reason, actually: Irving, one of the worst teammates in the history of sports, was driving Harden nuts with his refusal to get vaccinated, dropping out of sight on a regular basis and “explaining” everything with incomprehensible nonsense .

• Ben Simmons is with the Nets, although we really can’t be sure. He ducked out of sight for months in Philadelphia, and it wasn’t strictly due to a bad back. Most everyone figured he would show up for Game 4 of the first round against Boston, with the Nets on the brink of elimination, but no such luck. Can Durant really be sure he would have Simmons as a teammate in Brooklyn? Who could assume that?

• There might be only one player in the NBA who could suffer through Irving’s self-obsessed labors and actually want to keep playing with him. That would be Durant, although perhaps reality has prevailed. The day after Irving opted into his one-year player option with the Nets, Durant requested a trade.

• OK, fine, except that Durant changes his mind with effortless haste. Now, reportedly, he has told Brooklyn owner Joseph Tsai he’ll stay with the Nets if they fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks.

• Nice consideration of Nash’s feelings, by the way. Whatever his faults as the Nets’ coach last year, this is a very good man, revered in NBA circles. So either Durant wants him out or he’s just trying to prove a point. Such mindless cruelty.

• Respected NBA insider Ric Bucher said on his Fox Sports podcast that Irving, while negotiating his deal, “wanted it to guarantee he wouldn’t have to play more than 60 games in a season and would not have to play any back-to- backs, which he apparently referred to as inhumane.”

• Responding on Twitter, Irving suggests he and Bucher discuss “what is truly happening” when “you’re ready to break free from the media’s control over your subconscious thoughts and emotions.”

• It’s plausible to wonder whether Durant is intentionally trying to drive down his trade value, just to make sure he lands elsewhere. That’s the new way of the superstar, if you haven’t heard: be a complete jerk until you get your way.

• Imagine if Tsai calls his bluff, the Nets’ trade demands are too unreasonable and they all show up for training camp: Durant, Irving, Simmons, Nash and Marks. That’s a special brand of awkward. Diaries flying around like unwanted pencils.

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