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Kevin Durant Reveals Game Preparation Was Reason for Trade Request

The Nets have been the most drama-embroiled NBA team for the last two seasons and its franchise almost lost its best player during this past summer when Kevin Durant wanted out. Now back with Brooklyn and fully committed to his team, Durant detailed why he requested a trade in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes

“It wasn’t difficult at all to request a trade because it was about ball,” Durant said. “I went to them and was like, ‘Yo, I don’t like how we are preparing. I don’t like shootarounds. I like practices. I need more. I want to work on more s---. Hold me accountable. Get on my a-- in film if that’s going to help you get on everybody else’s head. I want to do more closeouts. I want to work on more shell drills at practice.’

“This was the type of s--- I was coming at them with. It wasn’t like, ‘Yo, y’all need to make sure everybody around me can make my life easier.’ Hell nah, I want to make everybody else’s life easier. Ask Steve Nash, you can go call him right now. I would say, ‘Yo, I need more closeout drills. We need to practice more.’ That’s what I was on.”

In a previous statement, Durant gave a different reason for the request. 

“It was a lot of uncertainty around our team last year,” Durant said in September. “I committed to this organization for four years last summer with the idea that we were gonna be playing with that group.”

“That group” refers to the trio of Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. But Harden was traded in the middle of last season to the 76ers for a package that included three-time All-Star guard Ben Simmons. It was also reported by The Athletic that Durant wanted his former coach Steve Nash fired at the time, but he eventually came around—only for Brooklyn to part ways with Nash on Nov. 1 after a 2–5 start. 

Since then, Jacque Vaughn, a former assistant, was named interim and then permanent coach going forward. The Nets are 6–9 at the No. 12 spot in the Eastern Conference.  

“I wasn’t feeling that, and nobody was on that same vibe with me,” Durant added on game preparation. “Jacque Vaughn is. I had some complaints in the summer, and my complaints were not about just me; it was about how we are moving as a unit. I want us to be respected out here in the basketball world. I don’t want players to look at us and say, ‘Oh man, these [expletive] are full of s---. That’s not the type of team I want to be on.’ So when we’re all playing like s---, you know the one person they’re going to look at. That’s why I requested a trade.”

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