Durant will stay at the Nets, say his leaders

NBA star Kevin Durant, who asked for a departure from Brooklyn this summer, will finally continue with the Nets, with whom he has four years left on his contract, the team manager announced on Tuesday.

« Coach Steve Nash and I, along with owners Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and (his agent) Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles » on Monday: « We agreed to move forward together. We are focused on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: to build an enduring franchise to bring a title to Brooklyn, » Marks wrote in a statement from the club.

This message comes to end a soap opera that has agitated the Nets and, by rebound, the entire NBA, many franchises having tried to attract Durant, from the moment when he had claimed on June 30 to be transferred.

The Boston Celtics, finalists last season, the Miami Heat, the Denver Nuggets, the Memphis Grizzlies or the Toronto Raptors, had started negotiations with the Nets, according to several media.

The 33-year-old winger, one of the best players in the league, two-time champion with Golden State (2017, 2018), 12-time All-Star, then asked for the departure of Nash and Marks, after an interview with Joe Tsai in London in early August, according to ESPN.

Finally, the duo will stay in place at the start of the next season (kick-off on October 18) and Durant will honor his contract extension signed less than a year ago, which will earn him $ 198 million. .

His willingness to leave resulted from another disappointing season with the Nets, despite a team built around him, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, to chase the title.

Elimination in the first round of the play-offs against Boston (4-0) ended a year of internal turbulence.

First there was the Irving case, long prevented from playing in New York because he was not vaccinated against Covid-19 and who necessarily missed the team during his absence. Then there was the departure of Harden to Philadelphia, exchanged with the Australian Ben Simmons who did not play a single match, plagued by back pain, saying he was also not mentally ready to return to the courts. after several months of conflict with the Sixers.

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