“Who am I playing with? – Ben Simmons group chat incident that may have prompted Kevin Durant’s trade request – Basketball Network
To this day, Kevin Durant is still a Brooklyn Net. Depending on Joe Tsai’s next move – KD gave him an ultimatum to choose between him or the pairing of Nets general manager Sean Marks and coach Steve Nash – we could also hear him cancel his trade request. and is ready to send it back. Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons.
But even if that happens, we still won’t know the exact reason why he requested a trade in the first place. However, FOX Sports NBA analyst Ric Bucher might have the answer to that question.
“It’s Who I Play With”
Those close to KD cite two reasons the 33-year-old wants to leave Brooklyn: a controversy-filled season that ended in a first-round sweep against the Celtics; and the organization’s rocky relationship with Durant’s good friend, Kyrie Irving.
Bucher, however, points to Ben Simmons as Durant’s business demand manager.
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KD joined the Nets to lead his team to the championships. With James Harden and Kyrie on the team, he felt he could do it. But when Harden left, so did Durant’s Larry O’Brien hopes, especially after Simmons showed his true colors before what turned out to be the deciding game against Boston in the first round of the playoffs.
“They’re having a team chat before Game 4, thinking he’s going to play the Celtics. From what I’m told, Ben just left the chat. They asked him, ‘Go- you play? “. Ben left the chat. Like he didn’t even answer the question, he just left the chat. KD says, “Is that why I signed up? Who am I playing with?” Butcher said.
On paper, the Nets still look like a potential contender – check out Instant Choices to see their league odds come next season. Outside of Boston and Golden State, they could still be his best shot for an NBA title.
However, for Brooklyn to maximize their talent, a lot of things have to fall into place – Simmons playing his best basketball being one of them. The moment KD asked to be traded, the team’s No. 1 option gave up hope that the 25-year-old would finally take the next step. And the struggles on the ground had nothing to do with it; it was simply the final nail in the coffin for Simmons’ character as a contestant.
It’s the same thing scouts were asking about Ben before the 2016 NBA draft. Fast forward six years and those questions still stand. The talent is definitely there, but the lack of competitiveness won’t get you far. And if none of his coaches so far have been able to change it, Steve Nash certainly won’t.
Durant realized it, hence the trade request and yesterday’s ultimatum.