Kevin Durant’s issues with the Nets and specifically their owner Joe Tsai go much deeper than his demand they fire coach Steve Nash, a source close to the Nets and familiar with KD’s thinking said.
“The ultimatum he made is not what really caused the deterioration. It’s not the ultimatum itself,” the source said.
Durant, among other things, was not consulted on the Nets’ firing of assistant coach and director of player development Adam Harrington when the season ended, the source believes.
“There are simple things that erode a relationship. You fired someone he was close to and didn’t have a conversation about it,” the source said.
Last week, the popular Harrington attended a Liberty WNBA basketball game and was seen hugging current Nets players, according to a Reddit post.
“I would think there are so many things, it’s not one thing,” the source said. “I think KD wants to leave and it doesn’t matter what reasons he says.”
Durant in a meeting this weekend with Tsai said, as he did last month, he wanted to be traded unless Nash was fired, The Post confirmed. There are also reports he wants general manager Sean Marks fired as well.
Marks was the main force behind hiring Nash, sources said.
Durant believes “he traded away too many pieces,” the source said.
Tsai, after the reports Monday about the meeting with Durant, tweeted, “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”
All involved recognize Marks and Nash do not have autonomy and ultimately if the Nets blow up it is because of Tsai, the source said.
Another possible reason Durant is upset is there are rumors that last summer he did not want to be vaccinated.
Tsai, as The Post reported exclusively, did not lobby then-Mayor Bill de Blasio to allow unvaccinated players living outside New York City to play home games when there was word his vaccination policy would change to include them.
That might have led to some disappointment that Tsai did not do more, the source said.
Tsai now has to decide whether to lower his high asking price and get a Durant trade done before training camp opens at the end of September as the 33-year-old star has requested.
“I don’t think anybody on the team is safe from being traded. Everyone is up for grabs,” the source said.
Durant signed a four-year, $198 million contract extension in 2021 so he has limited power in forcing a trade unless he refuses to play.
If there is no resolution, Durant will likely rejoin the team, the source said: “I don’t think he’s not going to play.”
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